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!7-March 11 






Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 

Of what is great one must either be silent or speak with greatness. With 
greatness--that means cynically and with innocence. 

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what 
is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. 
This history can be related even now; for necessity itself is at work 
here. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs, this destiny 
announces itself everywhere; for this music of the future all ears are 
cocked even now. For some time now, our whole European culture has been 
moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing 
from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river 
that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to 
reflect . 

He that speaks here, conversely, has done nothing so far but reflect: a 
philosopher and solitary by instinct, who has found his advantage in 
standing aside and outside, in patience, in procrastination, in staying 
behind; as a spirit of daring and experiment that has already lost its 
way once in every labyrinth of the future; as a soothsayer-bird spirit 
who looks back when relating what will come; as the first perfect 
nihilist of Europe who, however, has even now lived through the whole of 
nihilism, to the end, leaving it behind, outside himself. 

For one should make no mistake about the mea 
gospel of the future wants to bear. "The Wil 
Revaluation of All Values"--in this formulat 
expression, regarding both principle and tas 
future will take the place of this perfect n 
logically and psychologically, and certainly 
of it. For why has the advent of nihilism be 
values we have had hitherto thus draw their 
nihilism represents the ultimate logical con 
and ideals--because we must experience nihil 
what value these "values" really had. --We re 


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1 (1885-1886) Toward an Outline 

1. Nihilism stands at the door: whence comes this uncanniest of all 
guests? Point of departure: it is an error to consider "social 
distress" or "physiological degeneration" or, worse, corruption, as the 
cause of nihilism. Ours is the most decent and compassionate age. 
Distress, whether of the soul, body, or intellect, cannot of itself give 
birth to nihilism (i. e., the radical repudiation of value, meaning, and 
desirability) . Such distress always permits a variety of 
interpretations. Rather: it is in one particular interpretation, the 
Christian-moral one, that nihilism is rooted. 

2. The end of Christianity--at the hands of its own morality (which 
cannot be replaced), which turns against the Christian God (the sense of 
truthfulness, developed highly by Christianity, is nauseated by the 
falseness and mendaciousness of all Christian interpretations of the 
world and of history; rebound from "God is truth" to the fanatical faith 
"All is false"; Buddhism of action) . 

3. Skepticism regarding morality is what is decisive. The end of the 
moral interpretation of the world, which no longer has any sanction 
after it has tried to escape into some beyond, leads to nihilism. 
"Everything lacks meaning" (the untenability of one interpretation of 
the world, upon which a tremendous amount of energy has been lavished, 
awakens the suspicion that all interpretations of the world are false) . 
Buddhistic tendency, yearning for Nothing. (Indian Buddhism is not the 
culmination of a thoroughly moralistic development; its nihilism is 
therefore full of morality that is not overcome: existence as 
punishment, existence construed as error, error thus as a punishment--a 
moral valuation.) Philosophical attempts to overcome the "moral God" 

(Hegel, pantheism) . Overcoming popular ideals: the sage; the saint; the 
poet. The antagonism of "true" and "beautiful" and "good". 

4. Against "meaninglessness " on the one hand, against moral value 
judgments on the other: to what extent has all science and philosophy so 
far been influenced by moral judgments? and won't this net us the 
hostility of science? Or an antiscientif ic mentality? Critigue of 
Spinozism. Residues of Christian value judgments are found everywhere in 
socialistic and positivistic systems. A critigue of Christian morality 
is still lacking 

5. The nihilistic conseguences of contemporary natural science (together 
with its attempts to escape into some beyond) . The industry of its 
pursuit eventually leads to self-disintegration, opposition, an 
antiscientif ic mentality. Since Copernicus man has been rolling from the 
center toward X.* 

6. The nihilistic conseguences of the ways of thinking in politics and 
economics, where all "principles" are practically histrionic: the air of 
mediocrity, wretchedness, dishonesty, etc. Nationalism. Anarchism, etc. 
Punishment. The redeeming class and human being are lacking--the 
justif iers . 

7. The nihilistic conseguences of historiography and of the "practical 
historians," i. e., the romantics. The position of art: its position in 
the modern world absolutely lacking in originality. Its decline into 
gloom. Goethe's allegedly Olympian stance. 

8. Art and the preparation of nihilism: romanticism (the conclusion of 
Wagner's Nibelungen) . 


2 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

What does nihilism mean? That the highest values devaluate themselves. 
The aim is lacking; "why?" finds no answer. 

3 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Radical nihilism is the conviction of an absolute untenability of 
existence when it comes to the highest values one recognizes; plus the 
realization that we lack the least right to posit a beyond or an in- 
itself of things that might be "divine" or morality incarnate. 

This realization is a conseguence of the cultivation of "truthf ulness"-- 
thus itself a conseguence of the faith in morality. 

4 (June 10, 1887)3 

What were the advantages of the Christian moral hypothesis? 

1. It granted man an absolute value, as opposed to his smallness and 
accidental occurrence in the flux of becoming and passing away. 

2. It served the advocates of God insofar as it conceded to the world, 
in spite of suffering and evil, the character of perfection-including 
"freedom": evil appeared full of meaning. 

3. It posited that man had a knowledge of absolute values and thus 
adeguate knowledge precisely regarding what is most important. 

4. It prevented man from despising himself as man, from taking sides 
against life; from despairing of knowledge: it was a means of 
preservation . 

In sum: morality was the great antidote against practical and 
theoretical nihilism. 

5 (June 10, 1887) 

But among the forces cultivated by morality was truthfulness: this 
eventually turned against morality, discovered its teleology, its 
partial perspective--and now the recognition of this inveterate 
mendaciousness that one despairs of shedding becomes a stimulant. Now we 
discover in ourselves needs implanted by centuries of moral 
interpretation--needs that now appear to us as needs for untruth; on the 
other hand, the value for which we endure life seems to hinge on these 
needs. This antagonism--not to esteem what we know, and not to be 
allowed any longer to esteem the lies we should like to tell ourselves-- 
results in a process of dissolution. 

6 (Spring-Fall 1887) 
This is the antinomy: 

Insofar as we believe in morality we pass sentence on existence. 

7 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The supreme values in whose service man should live, especially when 
they were very hard on him and exacted a high puce--these social values 
were erected over man to strengthen their voice, as if they were 
commands of God, as 'reality," as the true" world, as a hope and future 

world. Now that the shabby origin of these values is becoming clear, the 
universe seems to have lost value, seems "meaningless"--but that is only 
a transitional stage. 

8 (1883-1888) 

The nihilistic conseguence (the belief in valuelessness ) as a 
conseguence of moral valuation: everything egoistic has come to disgust 
us (even though we realize the impossibility of the unegoistic) ; what is 
necessary has come to disgust us (even though we realize the 
impossibility of any liberum arbitrium or intelligible freedom") . We see 
that we cannot reach the sphere in which we have placed our values; but 
this does not by any means confer any value on that other sphere in 
which we live: on the contrary, we are weary because we have lost the 
main stimulus "In vain so far!" 

9 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Pessimism as a preliminary form of nihilism. 

10 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Pessimism as strength--in what? in the energy of its logic, as anarchism 
and nihilism, as analytic. 

Pessimism as decline--in what? as growing effeteness, as a sort of 
cosmopolitan fingering, as "tout comprendre and historicism. 

The critical tension: the extremes appear and become predominant. 

11 (Spring-Fall 1887, rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

The logic of pessimism down to ultimate nihilism: what is at work in it? 
The idea of valuelessness, meaninglessness : to what extent moral 
valuations hide behind all other high values. 

Conclusion: Moral value judgments are ways of passing sentence, 
negations; morality is a way of turning one's back on the will to 
existence . 

Problem: But what is morality? 

12 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Decline of Cosmological Values 

( A ) 

Nihilism as a psychological state will have to be reached, first, when 
we have sought a "meaning" in all events that is not there: so the 
seeker eventually becomes discouraged. Nihilism, then, is the 
recognition of the long waste of strength, the agony of the "in vain," 
insecurity, the lack of any opportunity to recover and to regain 
composure--being ashamed in front of oneself, as if one had deceived 
oneself all too long. --This meaning could have been: the "fulfillment" 
of some highest ethical canon in all events, the moral world order; or 
the growth of love and harmony in the intercourse of beings; or the 
gradual approximation of a state of universal happiness; or even the 
development toward a state of universal annihilation--any goal at least 
constitutes some meaning. What all these notions have in common is that 
something is to be achieved through the process — and now one realizes 

that becoming aims at nothing and achieves nothing.-- Thus, 
disappointment regarding an alleged aim of becoming as a cause of 
nihilism: whether regarding a specific aim or, universalized, the 
realization that all previous hypotheses about aims that concern the 
whole "evolution" are inadeguate (man no longer the collaborator, let 
alone the center, of becoming) . 

Nihilism as a psychological state is reached, secondly, when one has 
posited a totality, a systematization, indeed any organization in all 
events, and underneath all events, and a soul that longs to admire and 
revere has wallowed in the idea of some supreme form of domination and 
administration (--if the soul be that of a logician, complete 
consistency and real dialectic are guite sufficient to reconcile it to 
everything) . Some sort of unity, some form of "monism" : this faith 
suffices to give man a deep feeling of standing in the context of, and 
being dependent on, some whole that is infinitely superior to him, and 
he sees himself as a mode of the deity. --"The well-being of the 
universal demands the devotion of the individual"--but behold, there is 
no such universal! At bottom, man has lost the faith in his own value 
when no infinitely valuable whole works through him; i. e., he conceived 
such a whole in order to be able to believe in his own value. 

Nihilism as psychological state has yet a third and last form. 

Given these two insights, that becoming has no goal and that underneath 
all becoming there is no grand unity in which the individual could 
immerse himself completely as in an element of supreme value, an escape 
remains: to pass sentence on this whole world of becoming as a deception 
and to invent a world beyond it, a true world. But as soon as man finds 
out how that world is fabricated solely from psychological needs, and 
how he has absolutely no right to it, the last form of nihilism comes 
into being: it includes disbelief in any metaphysical world and forbids 
itself any belief in a true world. Having reached this standpoint, one 
grants the reality of becoming as the only reality, forbids oneself 
every kind of clandestine access to afterworlds and false divinities-- 
but cannot endure this world though one does not want to deny it. 

What has happened, at bottom? The feeling of valuelessness was reached 
with the realization that the overall character of existence may not be 
interpreted by means of the concept of "aim," the concept of "unity," or 
the concept of "truth." Existence has no goal or end; any comprehensive 
unity in the plurality of events is lacking: the character of existence 
is not "true," is false. One simply lacks any reason for convincing 
oneself that there is a true world. Briefly: the categories "aim," 
"unity," "being" which we used to project some value into the world--we 
pull out again; so the world looks valueless. 

( B ) 

Suppose we realize how the world may no longer be interpreted in terms 
of these three categories, and that the world begins to become valueless 
for us after this insight: then we have to ask about the sources of our 
faith in these three categories. Let us try if it is not possible to 
give up our faith in them. Once we have devaluated these three 
categories, the demonstration that they cannot be applied to the 
universe is no longer any reason for devaluating the universe. 

Conclusion: The faith in the categories of reason is the cause of 
nihilism. We have measured the value of the world according to 
categories that refer to a purely fictitious world. 

Final conclusion: All the values by means of which we have tried so far 
to render the world estimable for ourselves and which then proved 
inapplicable and therefore devaluated the world--all these values are, 
psychologically considered, the results of certain perspectives of 
utility, designed to maintain and increase human constructs of 
domination--and they have been falsely projected into the essence of 
things. What we find here is still the hyperbolic naivete of man: 
positing himself as the meaning and measure of the value of things. 

13 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Nihilism represents a pathological transitional stage (what is 
pathological is the tremendous generalization, the inference that there 
is no meaning at all) : whether the productive forces are not yet strong 
enough, or whether decadence still hesitates and has not yet invented 
its remedies . 

Presupposition of this hypothesis: that there is no truth, that there is 
no absolute nature of things nor a "thing-in-itself . " This, too, IS 
merely nihilism--even the most extreme nihilism. It places the value of 
things precisely in the lack of any reality corresponding to these 
values and in their being merely a symptom of strength on the part of 
the value-positers, a simplification for the sake of life. 

14 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Values and their changes are related to increases in the power of those 
positing the values. 

The measure of unbelief, of permitted "freedom of the spirit" as an 
expression of an increase in power. 

"Nihilism" an ideal of the highest degree of powerfulness of spirit, the 
over-richest life--partly destructive, partly ironic. 

15 (Spring-Fall 1837) 

What is a belief? How does it originate? Every belief is a considering- 
something-true . 

The most extreme form of nihilism would be the view that every belief, 
every considering-something-true, is necessarily false cause there 
simply is no true world. Thus, a perspectival appearance whose origin 
lies in us (in so far as we continually need a narrower, abbreviated, 
simplified world) . 

-That it is the measure of strength to what extent we can admit to 
ourselves, without perishing, the merely apparent character, the 
necessity of lies. 

To this extent, nihilism, as the denial of a truthful world, of being, 
might be a divine way of thinking. 

16 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

If we are "disappointed," it is at least not regarding life: rather we 
are now facing up to all kinds of "desiderata." 

With scornful wrath we contemplate what are called "ideals"; we despise 
ourselves only because there are moments when we cannot subdue that 
absurd impulse that is called "idealism." The influence of too much 

coddling is stronger than the wrath of the disappointed. 

17 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

To what extent Schopenhauer's nihilism still follows from the same ideal 
that created Christian theism. --One felt so certain about the highest 
desiderata, the highest values, the highest perfection that the 
philosophers assumed this as an absolute certainty, as if it were a 
priori: "God" at the apex as a given truth. "To become as God," "to be 
absorbed into God"--for thousands of years these were the most naive and 
convincing desiderata (but what convinces is not necessarily true--it is 
merely convincing: a note for asses) . 

One has unlearned the habit of conceding to this posited ideal the 
reality of a person; one has become atheistic. But has the ideal itself 
been renounced? — At bottom, the last metaphysicians still seek in it 
true "reality," the "thing-in-itself " compared to which everything else 
is merely apparent. It is their dogma that our apparent world, being so 
plainly not the expression of this ideal, cannot be "true"--and that, at 
bottom, it does not even lead us back to that metaphysical world as its 
cause. The unconditional, representing that highest perfection, cannot 
possibly be the ground of all that is conditional. Schopenhauer wanted 
it otherwise and therefore had to conceive of this metaphysical ground 
as the opposite of the ideal--as "evil, blind will": that way it could 
be that "which appears," that which reveals itself in the world of 
appearances. But even so he did not renounce the absoluteness of the 
ideal--he sneaked by . - 

(Kant considered the hypothesis of "intelligible freedom" necessary in 
order to acguit the ens perfection of responsibility for the world's 
being such-and-such-in short, to account for evil and ills: a scandalous 
bit of logic for a philosopher.) 

18 (1883-1888) 

The most universal sign of the modern age: man has lost dignity in his 
own eyes to an incredible extent. For a long time the center and tragic 
hero of existence in general; then at least intent on proving himself 
closely related to the decisive and essentially valuable side of 
existence--like all metaphysicians who wish to cling to the dignity of 
man, with their faith that moral values are cardinal values. Those who 
have abandoned God cling that much more firmly to the faith in morality. 

19 (1883-1888) 

Every purely moral value system (that of Buddhism, for example) ends in 
nihilism: this to be expected in Europe. One still hopes to get along 
with a moralism without religious background: but that necessarily leads 
to nihilism. --In religion the constraint is lacking to consider 
ourselves as value-positing. 

20 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The nihilistic guestion "for what?" is rooted in the old habit of 
supposing that the goal must be put up, given, demanded from outside-by 
some superhuman authority. Having unlearned faith in that, one still 
follows the old habit and seeks another authority that can speak 
unconditionally and command goals and tasks. The authority of conscience 
now steps up front (the more emancipated one is from theology, the more 
imperativistic morality becomes) to compensate for the loss of a 
personal authority. Or the authority of reason. Or the social instinct 

(the herd) . Or history with an immanent spirit and a goal within, so one 
can entrust oneself to it. One wants to get around the will, the willing 
of a goal, the risk of positing a goal for oneself; one wants to rid 
oneself of the responsibility (one would accept fatalism) . Finally, 
happiness--and, with a touch of Tartuffe, the happiness of the greatest 
number . 

One says to oneself: 

1. a definite goal is not necessary at all, 

2. cannot possibly be anticipated. 

Just now when the greatest strength of will would be necessary, it is 
weakest and least confident. Absolute mistrust regarding the organizing 
strength of the will for the whole. 

21 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

The perfect nihilist . --The nihilist's eye idealizes in the direction of 
ugliness and is unfaithful to his memories: it allows them to drop, lose 
their leaves; it does not guard them against the corpselike pallor that 
weakness pours out over what is distant and gone. And what he does not 
do for himself, he also does not do for the whole past of mankind: he 
lets it drop. 

22 (Spring-Fall 1887) 
Nihilism. It is ambiguous: 

A. Nihilism as a sign of increased power of the spirit: as active 

B. Nihilism as decline and recession of the power of the spirit: as 
passive nihilism. 

23 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Nihilism as a normal condition. 

It can be a sign of strength: the spirit may have grown so strong that 
previous goals ("convictions," articles of faith) have become 
incommensurate (for a faith generally expresses the constraint of 
conditions of existence, submission to the authority of circumstances 
under which one flourishes, grows, gains power) . Or a sign of the lack 
of strength to posit for oneself, productively, a goal, a why, a faith. 

It reaches its maximum of relative strength as a violent force of 
destruction--as active nihilism. 

Its opposite: the weary nihilism that no longer attacks; its most famous 
form, Buddhism; a passive nihilism, a sign of weakness. The strength of 
the spirit may be worn out, exhausted, so that previous goals and values 
have become incommensurate and no longer are believed; so that the 
synthesis of values and goals (on which every strong culture rests) 
dissolves and the individual values war against each other: 
disintegration--and whatever refreshes, heals, calms, numbs emerges into 
the foreground in various disguises, religious or moral, or political, 
or aesthetic, etc. 

24 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Nihilism does not only contemplate the "in vain!" nor is it merely the 
belief that everything deserves to perish: one helps to destroy . --This 
is, if you will, illogical; but the nihilist does not believe that one 
needs to be logical. --It is the condition of strong spirits and wills, 
and these do not find it possible to stop with the No of "judgment": 
their nature demands the No of the deed. The reduction to nothing by 
judgment is seconded by the reduction to nothing by hand. 

25 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

On the genesis of the nihilist . --It is only late that one musters the 
courage for what one really knows.'. That I have hitherto been a 
thorough-going nihilist, I have admitted to myself only recently: the 
energy and radicalism with which I advanced as a nihilist deceived me 
about this basic fact. When one moves toward a goal it seems impossible 
that "goal-lessness as such" is the principle of our faith. 

26 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The pessimism of active energy: the guestion "for what?" after a 
terrible struggle, even victory. That something is a hundred times more 
important than the guestion of whether we feel well or not: basic 
instinct of all strong natures--and conseguently also whether others 
feel well or not. In sum, that we have a goal for which one does not 
hesitate to offer human sacrifices, to risk every danger, to take upon 
oneself whatever is bad and worst: the great passion. 

27 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Causes of nihilism: 1. The higher species is lacking, i. e., those whose 
inexhaustible fertility and power keep up the faith in man. (One should 
recall what one owes to Napoleon: almost all of the higher hopes of this 
century . ) 

2. The lower species ("herd," "mass," "society") unlearns modesty and 
blows up its needs into cosmic and metaphysical values. In this way the 
whole of existence is vulgarized: in so far as the mass is dominant it 
bullies the exceptions, so they lose their faith in themselves and 
become nihilists. 

All attempts to think up higher types failed ("romanticism"; the artist, 
the philosopher; against Carlyle's attempt to ascribe to them the 
highest moral values) . 

The resistance to higher types as a result. 

Decline and insecurity of all higher types. The fight against the genius 
("folk poetry," etc.). Pity for the lowly and suffering as a measure for 
the height of a soul. 

The philosopher is lacking who interprets the deed and does not merely 
transpose it. 

28 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Main proposition. How complete nihilism is the necessary conseguence of 
the ideals entertained hitherto. 

Incomplete nihilism; its forms: we live in the midst of it. 

Attempts to escape nihilism without revaluating our values so far: they 
produce the opposite, make the problem more acute. 

29 (1883-1888) 

The ways of self-narcotization . --Deep down: not knowing whither. 
Emptiness. Attempt to get over it by intoxication intoxication as music; 
intoxication as cruelty in the tragic enjoyment of the destruction of 
the noblest; intoxication as blind enthusiasm for single human beings or 
ages (as hatred, etc.) .--Attempt to work blindly as an instrument of 
science: opening one's eyes to the many small enjoyments; e. g., also in 
the guest of knowledge (modesty toward oneself); resignation to 
generalizing about oneself, a pathos; mysticism, the voluptuous 
enjoyment of eternal emptiness; art "for its own sake" ("le fait") and 
"pure knowledge" as narcotic states of disgust with oneself; some kind 
or other of continual work, or of some stupid little fanaticism; a 
medley of all means, sickness owing to general immoderation (debauchery 
kills enjoyment) . 

1. Weakness of the will as a result. 

2. Extreme pride and the humiliation of petty weakness felt in contrast. 

30 (Nov. 1887-March 1888; rev. 1888) 

The time has come when we have to pay for having been Christians for two 
thousand years: we are losing the center of gravity by virtue of which 
we lived; we are lost for a while. Abruptly we plunge into the opposite 
valuations, with all the energy that such an extreme overvaluation of 
man has generated in man. 

Now everything is false through and through, mere "words," chaotic, 
weak, or extravagant: 

a. one attempts a kind of this-worldly solution, but in the same sense- 
that of the eventual triumph of truth, love, and justice (socialism: 
"eguality of the person") ; 

b. one also tries to hold on to the moral ideal (with the pre-eminence 
of what is un-egoistic, self-denial, negation of the win); 

c. one tries to hold on even to the "beyond" — even if only as some 
antilogical "x"--but one immediately interprets it in such a way that 
some sort of old-fashioned metaphysical comfort can be derived from it; 

d. one tries to find in events an old-fashioned divine governance— an 
order of things that rewards, punishes, educates, and betters; 

e. one still believes in good and evil and experiences the triumph of 
the good and the annihilation of evil as a task (that is English; 
typical case: the flathead John Stuart Mill); 

f. contempt for what is "natural," for desire, for the ego: attempt to 
understand even the highest spirituality and art as the conseguence of 
depersonalization and as desinteressement ; 

g. the church is still permitted to obtrude into all important 
experiences and main points of individual life to hallow them and give 
them a higher meaning: we still have the "Christian state," "Christian 

31 (1884) 

There have been more thoughtful and thought-addicted ages than ours: 
ages, e. g., like that in which the Buddha appeared, when after 
centuries of guarrels among sects the people themselves were as deeply 
lost in the ravines of philosophic doctrines as European nations were at 
times in the subtleties of religious dogmas. Surely, one should not let 
"literature" and the press seduce us to think well of the "spirit" of 
our time: the existence of millions of spiritists and a Christianity 
that goes in for gymnastics of that gruesome ugliness that characterizes 
all English inventions are more instructive. 

European pessimism is still in its early stages--bears witness against 
itself: it still lacks that tremendous, yearning rigidity of expression 
in which the Nothing is reflected, once found in India; it is still far 
too contrived and too little "organic"-too much a pessimism of scholars 
and poets: I mean, much of it is excogitated and invented, is "created" 
and not a "cause." 

32 (Summer-Fall 1888) 

Critigue of pessimism to date . --Resistance to eudaemonistic 
considerations as the last reduction to the guestion: what does it mean? 
The reduction of growing gloom. - 

Our pessimism: the world does not have the value we thought it had. Our 
faith itself has so increased our desire for knowledge that today we 
have to say this. Initial result: it seems worth less; that is how it is 
experienced initially. It is only in this sense that we are pessimists; 
i. e., in our determination to admit this revaluation to ourselves 
without any reservation, and to stop telling ourselves tales-lies-the 
old way. 

That is precisely how we find the pathos that impels us to seek new 
values. In sum: the world might be far more valuable than we used to 
believe; we must see through the naivete of our ideals, and while we 
thought that we accorded it the highest interpretation, we may not even 
have given our human existence a moderately fair value. 

What has been deified? The value instincts in the community (that which 
made possible its continued existence) . 

What has been slandered? That which set apart the higher men from the 
lower, the desires that create clefts. 

33 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Causes of the advent of pessimism: 

1. that the most powerful desires of life that have the most future have 
hitherto been slandered, so a curse weighs on life; 

2. that the growing courage and integrity and the bolder mistrust that 
now characterize man comprehend that these instincts are inseparable 
from life, and one therefore turns against life; 

3. that only the most mediocre, who have no feeling at all for this 
conflict, flourish while the higher kind miscarries and, as a product of 
degeneration, invites antipathy--that the mediocre on the other hand, 
when they pose as the goal and meaning, arouse indignation (that nobody 
is able any more to answer any "for what or who?" 

4. that diminution, sensitivity to pain, restlessness, haste, and 
hustling grow continually--that it becomes easier and easier to 
recognize this whole commotion, this so-called "civilization," and that 
the individual, faced with this tremendous machinery, loses courage and 
submits . 

34 (1&35-1886) 

Modern pessimism is an expression of the uselessness of the modern 
world--not of the world of existence. 

35 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The "predominance of suffering over pleasure" or the opposite 
(hedonism) : these two doctrines are already signposts to nihilism. 

For in both of these cases no ultimate meaning is posited except the 
appearance of pleasure or displeasure. 

But that is how a kind of man speaks that no longer dares to posit a 
will, a purpose, a meaning: for any healthier kind of man the value of 
life is certainly not measured by the standard of these trifles. And 
suffering might predominate, and in spite of that a powerful will might 
exist, a Yes to life, a need for thus predominance. 

"Life is not worthwhile"; "resignation"; "why the tears?-- a weakly and 
sentimental way of thinking. "Un monstre gai vaut mieux gu ' un 
sentimental ennuyeux. 

36 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The philosophical nihilist is convinced that all that happens is 
meaningless and in vain; and that there ought not to be anything 
meaningless and in vain. But whence this: there ought not to be. From 
where does one get this "meaning, " this standard?-- At bottom, the 
nihilist thinks that the sight of such a bleak, useless existence makes 
a philosopher feel dissatisfied, bleak, desperate. Such an insight goes 
against our finer sensibility as philosophers. It amounts to the absurd 
valuation: to have any right to be, the character of existence would 
have to give the philosopher pleasure. 

Now it is easy to see that pleasure and displeasure can only be means in 
the course of events: the guestion remains whether we are at all able to 
see the "meaning," the "aim," whether the guestion of meaninglessness or 
its opposite is not insoluble for us. 

37 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The development of pessimism into nihilism. --Denaturalization of values. 
Scholasticism of values. Detached and idealistic, values, instead of 
dominating and guiding action, turn against action and condemn it. 

Opposites replace natural degrees and ranks. Hatred against the order of 
rank. Opposites suit a plebeian age because easier to comprehend. 

The repudiated world versus an artificially built "true, valuable" 
one . --Finally : one discovers of what material one has built the "true 
world" : and now all one has left is the repudiated world, and one adds 
this supreme disappointment to the reasons why it deserves to be 

At this point nihilism is reached: all one has left are the values that 
pass judgment--nothing else. 

Here the problem of strength and weakness originates: 

1. The weak perish of it; 

2. those who are stronger destroy what does not perish; 

3. those who are strongest overcome the values that pass judgment. 
In sum this constitutes the tragic age. 

38 (1883-1888) 

Recently much mischief has been done with an accidental and in every way 
unsuitable word: everywhere "pessimism" is discussed, and the guestion 
is debated whether pessmism or optimism is right, as if there must be 
answers to that. 

One fails to see, although it could hardly be more obvious, that 
pessimism is not a problem but a symptom, that the name should be 
replaced by "nihilism, " that the guestion whether not-to-be is better 
than to be is itself a disease, a sign of decline, an idiosyncrasy. 

The nihilistic movement is merely the expression of physiological 
decadence . 

39 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

To be comprehended: That every kind of decay and sickness has 
continually helped to form overall value judgments; that decadence has 
actually gained predominance in the value judgments that have become 
accepted; that we not only have to fight against the conseguences of all 
present misery of degeneration, but that all previous decadence is still 
residual, i. e., survives. Such a total aberration of mankind from its 
basic instincts, such a total decadence of value judgments--that is the 
guestion mark par excellence, the real riddle that the animal "man" 
poses for the philosopher. 

40 (March-June 1888) 

The concept of decadence . --Waste, decay, elimination need not be 
condemned: they are necessary conseguences of life, of the growth of 
life. The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as any increase and 
advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it. Reason demands, on 
the contrary, that we do justice to it. 

It is a disgrace for all socialist systematizers that they suppose there 
could be circumstances — social combinations--in which vice, disease, 
prostitution, distress would no longer grow. --But that means condemning 
life.--A society is not free to remain young. And even at the height of 
its strength it has to form refuse and waste materials. The more 
energetically and boldly it advances, the richer it will be in failures 
and deformities, the closer to decline . --Age is not abolished by means 
of institutions. Neither is disease. Nor vice. 

41 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Basic insight regarding the nature of decadence: its supposed causes are 

its consequences. 

This changes the whole perspective of moral problems. 

The whole moral struggle against vice, luxury, crime, even disease, 
appears a naivete and superfluous: there is no "improvement" (against 
repentance) . 

Decadence itself is nothing to be fought: it is absolutely necessary and 
belongs to every age and every people. What should be fought vigorously 
is the contagion of the healthy parts of the organism. 

Is this being done? The opposite is done. Precisely that is attempted in 
the name of humanity. 

How are the supreme values held so far, related to this basic biological 
question? Philosophy, religion, morality, art, etc. 

(The cure: e. g., militarism, beginning with Napoleon who considered 
civilization his natural enemy.) 

42 (March-June 1888) 
First principle: 

The supposed causes of degeneration are its consequences. 

But the supposed remedies of degeneration are also mere palliatives 
against some of its effects: the "cured" are merely one type of the 
degenerates . 

Consequences of decadence: vice--the addiction to vice; sickness, crime- 
criminality; celibacy-sterility; hystericism, weakness of the will; 
alcoholism; pessimism; anarchism; libertinism (also of the spirit) . The 
slanderers, underminers, doubters, destroyers. 

43 (March-June 1888) 

On the concept of decadence. 

1. Skepticism is a consequence of decadence, as is libertinism of the 
spirit . 

2. The corruption of morals is a consequence of decadence (weakness of 
the will, need for strong stimuli) . 

3. Attempted cures, psychological and moral, do not change the course of 
decadence, do not arrest it, are physiologically naught: 

Insight into the great nullity of these presumptuous "reactions"; they 
are forms of narcotization against certain terrible consequences; they 
do not eliminate the morbid element; often they are heroic attempts to 
annul the man of decadence and to realize the minimum of his 
harmf ulness . 

4. Nihilism is no cause but merely the logical result of decadence. 

5. The "good" and "bad" man are merely two types of decadence: in all 
basic phenomena they agree. 

6. The social question is a consequence of decadence. 

7. Sicknesses, especially those affecting nerves and head, are signs 
that the defensive strength of the strong natures is lacking; precisely 
this is suggested by irritability, so pleasure and displeasure become 
foreground problems . 

44 (Spring-Summer 1888) 

Most general types of decadence: 

1. Believing one chooses remedies, one chooses in fact that which 
hastens exhaustion; Christianity is an example (to name the greatest 
example of such an aberration of the instincts); "progress" is another 
instance . - 

2. One loses one's power of resistance against stimuli--and comes to be 
at the mercy of accidents: one coarsens and enlarges one's experiences 
tremendously--"depersonalization, " disintegration of the will; example: 
one whole type of morality, the altruistic one which talks much of 
pity--and is distinguished by the weakness of the personality, so that 
it is sounded, too, and like an overstimulated string vibrates 
continually--an extreme irritability . - 

3. One confuses cause and effect: one fails to understand decadence as a 
physiological condition and mistakes its conseguences for the real cause 
of the indisposition; example: all of religious morality. 

4. One longs for a condition in which one no longer suffers: life is 
actually experienced as the ground of ills; one esteems unconscious 
states, without feeling, (sleep, fainting) as incomparably more valuable 
than conscious ones; from this a method. 

45 (March-June 1888) 

On the hygiene of the "weak . "--Everything done in weakness fails. Moral: 
do nothing. Only there is the hitch that precisely the strength to 
suspend activity, not to react, is sickest of all under the influence of 
weakness: one never reacts more guickly and blindly than when one should 
not react at all. 

A strong nature manifests itself by waiting and postponing any reaction: 
it is as much characterized by a certain adiaphoria as weakness is by an 
involuntary countermovement and the suddenness and inevitability of 
"action."-- The will is weak-- and the prescription to avoid stupidities 
would be to have a strong will and to do nothing. --Contradictio . --A kind 
of self- destruction; the instinct of preservation is compromised . --The 
weak harm themselves . --That is the type of decadence. 

In fact, we find a tremendous amount of reflection about practices that 
would lead to impassability . The instinct is on the right track insofar 
as doing nothing is more expedient than doing something. 

All the practices of the orders, the solitary philosophers, the fakirs 
are inspired by the right value standard that a certain kind of man 
cannot benefit himself more than by preventing himself as much as 
possible from acting. - 

Means of relief: absolute obedience, machinelike activity, avoidance of 
people and things that would demand instant decisions and actions. 

46 (March-June 1888) 

Weakness of the will: that is a metaphor that can prove misleading. For 
there is no will, and consequently neither a strong nor a weak will. The 
multitude and disgregation of impulses and the lack of any systematic 
order among them result in a "weak will"; their coordination under a 
single predominant impulse results in a "strong will": in the first case 
it is the oscillation and the lack of gravity; in the latter, the 
precision and clarity of the direction. 

47 (March-June 1888) 

What is inherited is not the sickness but sickliness: the lack of 
strength to resist the danger of infections, etc., the broken 
resistance; morally speaking, resignation and meekness in face of the 
enemy . 

I have asked myself if all the supreme values of previous philosophy, 
morality, and religion could not be compared to the values of the 
weakened, the mentally ill, and neurasthenics: in a milder form, they 
represent the same ills.- 

It is the value of all morbid states that they show us under a 
magnifying glass certain states that are normal--but not easily visible 
when normal . - 

Health and sickness are not essentially different, as the ancient 
physicians and some practitioners even today suppose. One must not make 
of them distinct principles or entities that fight over the living 
organism and turn it into their arena. That is silly nonsense and 
chatter that is no good any longer. In fact, there are only differences 
in degree between these two kinds of existence: the exaggeration, the 
disproportion, the nonharmony of the normal phenomena constitute the 
pathological state (Claude Bernard) . 

Just as "evil" can be considered as exaggeration, disharmony, 
disproportion, "the good" may be a protective diet against the danger of 
exaggeration, disharmony, and disproportion. 

Hereditary weakness as the dominant feeling: cause of the supreme 
values . 

N. B. One wants weakness: why? Usually because one is necessarily weak. 

Weakness as a task: weakening the desires, the feelings of pleasure and 
displeasure, the will to power, to a sense of pride, to want to have and 
have more; weakening as meekness; weakening as faith; weakening as 
aversion and shame in the face of everything natural, as negation of 
life, as sickness and habitual weakness--weakening as the renunciation 
of revenge, of resistance, of enmity and wrath. 

-The error in treatment: one does not want to fight weakness with a 
systeme fortifiant, but rather with a kind of justification and 
moralization; i. e., with an interpretation . - 

-Two totally different states confounded: e. g., the calm of strength, 
which is essentially forbearance from reaction (type of the gods whom 
nothing moves) --and the calm of exhaustion, . rigidity to the point of 
anesthesia. All philosophic-ascetic procedures aim at the second, but 
really intend the former--for they attribute predicates to the attained 
state as if a divine state had been attained. 

48 (March-June 1888) 

The most dangerous misunderstanding . --One concept apparently permits no 
confusion or ambiguity: that of exhaustion. Exhaustion can be acguired 
or inherited--in any case it changes the aspect of things, the value of 
things . 

As opposed to those who, from the fullness they represent and feel, 
involuntarily give to things and see them fuller, more powerful, and 
pregnant with future — who at least are able to bestow something--the 
exhausted diminish and botch all they see--they impoverish the value: 
they are harmful. - 

About this no mistake seems possible: yet history contains the gruesome 
fact that the exhausted have always been mistaken for the fullest--and 
the fullest for the most harmful. 

Those poor in life, the weak, impoverish life; those rich in life, the 
strong, enrich it. The first are parasites of life; the second give 
presents to it. --How is it possible to confound these two? 

When the exhausted appeared with the gesture of the highest activity and 
energy (when degeneration effected an excess of spiritual and nervous 
discharge), they were mistaken for the rich. They excited fear. --The 
cult of the fool is always the cult of those rich in life, the powerful. 
The fanatic, the possessed, the religious epileptic, all eccentrics have 
been experienced as the highest types of power: as divine. 

This kind of strength that excites fear was considered preeminently 
divine: here was the origin of authority; here one interpreted, heard, 
sought wisdom. --This led to the development, almost everywhere, of a 
will to "deify," i. e., a will to the typical degeneration of spirit, 
body, and nerves: an attempt to find the way to this higher level of 
being. To make oneself sick, mad, to provoke the symptoms of derangement 
and ruin-that was taken for becoming stronger, more superhuman, more 
terrible, wiser. One thought that in this way one became so rich in 
power that one could give from one's fullness. Wherever one adored one 
sought one who could give. 

Here the experience of intoxication proved misleading. This increases 
the feeling of power in the highest degree--theref ore, naively judged, 
power itself. On the highest rung of power one placed the most 
intoxicated, the ecstatic. (--There are two sources of intoxication: the 
over-great fullness of life and a state of pathological nourishment of 
the brain . ) 

49 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Acguired, not inherited, exhaustion: (1) Inadeguate nourishment, often 
from ignorance about norishment; e. g., among scholars. (2) Erotic 
precociousness : the curse in particular of French youth, above all in 
Paris, who emerge into the world from their Lycees botched and soiled 
and never free themselves again from the chain of contemptible 
inclinations, ironical and disdainful toward themselves--galley slaves 
with all refinements (incidentally, in most cases already a symptom of 
the decadence of race and family, like all hypersensitivity; also the 
contagion of the milieu--to let oneself be determined by one's 
environment is decadent) . (3) Alcoholism--not the instinct but the 
habit, the stupid imitation, the cowardly or vain assimilation to a 
dominant regime: 

What a blessing a Jew is among Germans! How much dullness, how blond the 
head, how blue the eye; the lack of esprit in face, word, posture; the 
lazy stretching-oneself , the German need for a good rest — not prompted 
by overwork but by the disgusting stimulation and overstimulation 
through alcoholica.- 

50 (1888) 

Theory of exhaustion . --Vice, the mentally ill (resp., the artists-), the 
criminals, the anarchists--these are not the oppressed classes but the 
scum of previous society of all classes. - 

Realizing that all our classes are permeated by these elements, we 
understand that modern society is no "society," no "body," but a sick 
conglomerate of chandalas--a society that no longer has the strength to 
excrete . 

To what extent sickliness, owing to the symbiosis of centuries, 

goes much deeper: 

modern virtue, = 

modern spirituality, = as forms of sickness. 

Our science = 

51 (March-June 1888) 

The state of corruption . --To understand how all forms of corruption 
belong together, without forgetting the Christian corruption (Pascal as 
type) as well as the socialist-communist corruption (a conseguence of 
the Christian--f rom the point of view of the natural sciences, the 
socialists' conception of the highest society is the lowest in the order 
of rank); also the "beyond" corruption: as if outside the actual world, 
that of becoming, there were another world of being. 

Here no terms are permissible: here one has to eradicate, annihilate, 
wage war; everywhere the Christian-nihilistic value standard still has 
to be pulled up and fought under every mask; e. g., in present-day 
sociology, in present-day music, in present-day pessimism (all of them 
forms of the Christian value ideal) . 

Either the one is true or the other: true here means elevating the type 
of man. 

The priest, the shepherd of souls, as objectionable forms of existence. 
All of education to date, helpless, untenable, without center of 
gravity, stained by the contradiction of values. 

52 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Nature is not immoral when it has no pity for the degenerate: on the 
contrary, the growth of physiological and moral ills among mankind is 
the conseguence of a pathological and unnatural morality. The 
sensibility of the majority of men is pathological and unnatural. 

Why is it that mankind is corrupt morally and physiologically?-The body 
perishes when an organ is altered. The right of altruism cannot be 
derived from physiology; nor can the right to help and to an eguality of 
lots: these are prizes for the degenerate and underprivileged. 

There is no solidarity in a society in which there are sterile, 
unproductive, and destructive elements--which, incidentally? will have 
descendants even more degenerate than they are themselves. 

53 (March-June 1888) 

Even the ideals of science can be deeply, yet completely unconsciously 
influenced by decadence: our entire sociology is proof of that. The 
objection to it is that from experience it knows only the form of the 
decay of society, and inevitably it takes its own instincts of decay for 
the norms of sociological judgment. 

In these norms the life that is declining in present-day Europe 
formulates its social ideals: one cannot tell them from the ideals of 
old races that have outlived themselves. - 

The herd instinct, then--a power that has now become sovereign — is 
something totally different from the instinct of an aristocratic 
society: and the value of the units determines the significance of the 
sum. --Our entire sociology simply does not know any other instinct than 
that of the herd, i. e., that of the sum of zeroes--where every zero has 
"egual rights," where it is virtuous to be zero.- 

The valuation that is today applied to the different forms of society is 
entirely identical with that which assigns a higher value to peace than 
to war: but this judgment is antibiological, is itself a fruit of the 
decadence of life. --Life is a conseguence of war, society itself a means 
to war. --As a biologist, Mr. Herbert Spencer is a decadent; as a 
moralist, too (he considers the triumph of altruism a desideratum! ! !) . 

54 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

It is my good fortune that after whole millennia of error and confusion 
I have rediscovered the way that leads to a Yes and a No. 

I teach the No to all that makes weak--that exhausts. 

I teach the Yes to all that strengthens, that stores up strength, that 
justifies the feeling of strength. 

So far one has taught neither the one nor the other: virtue has been 
taught, mortification of the self, pity, even the negation of life. All 
these are the values of the exhausted. 

Prolonged reflection on the physiology of exhaustion forced me to ask to 
what extent the judgments of the exhausted had penetrated the world of 
values . 

My result was as surprising as possible, even for me who was at home in 
many a strange world: I found that all of the supreme value judgments-- 
all that have come to dominate mankind, at least that part that has 
become tame--can be derived from the judgments of the exhausted. 

Under the holiest names I pulled up destructive tendencies; one has 
called God what weakens, teaches weakness, infects with weakness. --I 
found that the "good man" is one of the forms in which decadence affirms 
itself . 

That virtue of which Schopenhauer still taught that it is the supreme, 
the only virtue, and the basis of all virtues--precisely pity I 

recognized as more dangerous than any vice. To cross as a matter of 
principle selection in the species and its purification of refuse--that 
has so far been called virtue par excellence. - 

One should respect f atality--that fatality that says to the weak: 
perish ! - 

One has called it God--that one resisted fatality, that one — corrupted 
mankind and made it rot.-- One should not use the name of God in vain.- 

The race is corrupted--not by its vices but by its ignorance; it is 
corrupted because it did not recognize exhaustion as exhaustion: 
mistakes about physiological states are the source of all ills.- 

Virtue is our greatest misunderstanding. 

Problem: How did the exhausted come to make the laws about values? Put 
differently: How did those come to power who are the last. --How did the 
instinct of the human animal come to stand on its head?- 

55 (June 10, 1887)31 

Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones but by extreme 
positions of the opposite kind. Thus the belief in the absolute 
immorality of nature, in aim- and meaninglessness, is the 
psychologically necessary affect once the belief in God and an 
essentially moral order becomes untenable. Nihilism appears at that 
point, not that the displeasure at existence has become greater than 
before but because one has come to mistrust any "meaning" in suffering, 
indeed in existence. One interpretation has collapsed; but because it 
was considered the interpretation it now seems as if there were no 
meaning at all in existence, as if everything were in vain. 

That this "in vain" constitutes the character of present-day nihilism 
remains to be shown. The mistrust of our previous valuations grows until 
it becomes the guestion: "Are not all 'values' lures that draw out the 
comedy without bringing it closer to a solution?" Duration "in vain," 
without end or aim, is the most paralyzing idea, particularly when one 
understands that one is being fooled and yet lacks the power not to be 

Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, 
without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without any finale of 
nothingness: "the eternal recurrence." This is the most extreme form of 
nihilism: the nothing (the "meaningless"), eternally! 

The European form of Buddhism: the energy of knowledge and strength 
compels this belief. It is the most scientific of all possible 
hypotheses. We deny end goals: if existence had one it would have to 
have been reached. 

So one understands that an antithesis to pantheism is attempted here: 
for "everything perfect, divine, eternal" also compels a faith in the 
"eternal recurrence." Question: does morality make impossible *is 
pantheistic affirmation of all things, too? At bottom, it is only the 
moral god that has been overcome. Does it make sense to conceive a god 
"beyond good and evil"? Would a pantheism in this sense be possible? Can 
we remove the idea of a goal from the process and then affirm the 
process in spite of this?-This would be the case if something were 
attained at every moment within this process — and always the same. 
Spinoza reached such an affirmative position in so far as every moment 

has a logical necessity, and with his basic instinct, which was logical, 
he felt a sense of triumph that the world should be constituted that 
way . 

But his case is only a single case. Every basic character trait that is 
encountered at the bottom of every event, that finds expression in every 
event, would have to lead every individual who experienced it as his own 
basic character trait to welcome every moment of universal existence 
with a sense of triumph. The crucial point would be that one experienced 
this basic character trait in oneself as good, valuable--with pleasure. 

It was morality that protected life against despair and the leap into 
nothing, among men and classes who were violated and oppressed by men: 
for it is the experience of being powerless against men, not against 
nature, that generates the most desperate embitterment against 
existence. Morality treated the violent despots, the doers of violence, 
the "masters" in general as the enemies against whom the common man must 
be protected, which means first of all encouraged and strengthened. 
Morality conseguently taught men to hate and despise most profoundly 
what is the basic character trait of those who rule: their will to 
power. To abolish, deny, and dissolve this morality--that would mean 
looking at the best-hated drive with an opposite feeling and valuation. 
If the suffering and oppressed lost the faith that they have the right 
to despise the will to power, they would enter the phase of hopeless 
despair. This would be the case if this trait were essential to life and 
it could be shown that even in this will to morality this very "will to 
power" were hidden, and even this hatred and contempt were still a will 
to power. The oppressed would come to see that they were on the same 
plain with the oppressors, without prerogative, without higher rank. 

Rather the opposite! There is nothing to life that has value, except the 
degree of power-assuming that life itself is the will to power. Morality 
guarded the underprivileged against nihilism by assigning to each an 
infinite value, a metaphysical value, and by placing each in an order 
that did not agree with the worldly order of rank and power: it taught 
resignation, meekness, etc. Supposipg that the faith in this morality 
would perish, then the underprivileged would no longer have their 
comfort — and they would perish. 

This perishing takes the form of self -destruction--the instinctive 
selection of that which must destroy. Symptoms of this self destruction 
of the underprivileged: self -vivisection, poisoning, intoxication, 
romanticism, above all the instinctive need for actions that turn the 
powerful into mortal enemies (as it were, one breeds one's own hangmen); 
the will to destruction as the will of a still deeper instinct, the 
instinct of self-destruction, the will for nothingness. 

Nihilism as a symptom that the underprivileged have no comfort left; 
that they destroy in order to be destroyed; that without morality they 
no longer have any reason to "resign themselves" --that they place 
themselves on the plain of the opposite principle and also want power by 
compelling the powerful to become their hangmen. This is the European 
form of Buddhism--saying No after all existence has lost its "meaning." 

It is not that "distress" has grown: on the contrary. "God, morality, 
resignation," were remedies on terribly low rungs of misery: active 
nihilism appears in relatively much more favorable conditions. The 
feeling that morality has been overcome presupposes a fair degree of 
spiritual culture, and this in turn that one is relatively well off. A 
certain spiritual weariness that, owing to the long fight of 
philosophical opinions, has reached the most hopeless skepticism 

regarding all philosophy, is another sign of the by no means low 
position of these nihilists. Consider the situation in which the Buddha 
appeared. The doctrine of the eternal recurrence would have scholarly 
presuppositions (as did the Buddha's doctrine; e. g., the concept of 
causality, etc . ) . 

What does "underprivileged" mean? Above all, physiologically--no longer 
politically. The unhealthiest kind of man in Europe (in all classes) 
furnishes the soil for this nihilism: they will experience the belief in 
the eternal recurrence as a curse, struck by which one no longer shrinks 
from any action; not to be extinguished passively but to extinguish 
everything that is so aim- and meaningless, although this is a mere 
convulsion, a blind rage at the insight that everything has been for 
eternities—even this moment of nihilism and lust for destruction . --It 
is the value of such a crisis that it purifies, that it pushes together 
related elements to perish of each other, that it assigns common tasks 
to men who have opposite ways of thinking--and it also brings to light 
the weaker and less secure among them and thus promotes an order of rank 
according to strength, from the point of view of health: those who 
command are recognized as those who command, those who obey as those who 
obey. Of course, outside every existing social order. 

Who will prove to be the strongest in the course of this? The most 
moderate; those who do not reguire any extreme articles of faith; those 
who not only concede but love a fair amount of accidents and nonsense; 
those who can think of man with a considerable reduction of his value 
without becoming small and weak on that account: those richest in health 
who are egual to most misfortunes and therefore not so afraid of 
misfortunes—human beings who are sure of their power and represent the 
attained strength of humanity with conscious pride. 

How would such a human being even think of the eternal recurrence? 

56 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

- Periods of European Nihilism 

The period of unclarity, of all kinds of tentative men who would 
conserve the old without letting go of the new. 

The period of clarity: one understands that the old and the new are 
basically opposite, the old values born of declining and the new ones of 
ascending life--that all the old ideals are hostile to life (born of 
decadence and agents of decadence, even if in the magnificent Sunday- 
clothes of morality) . We understand the old and are far from strong 
enough for something new. 

The period of the three great affects: contempt, pity, destruction. 

The period of catastrophe: the advent of a doctrine that sifts men- 
driving the weak to decisions, and the strong as well-- 


57 (1884) 

My friends, it was hard for us when we were young: we suffered youth 
itself like a serious sickness. That is due to the time into which we 
have been thrown--a time of extensive inner decay and disintegration, a 
time that with all its weaknesses, and even with its best strength, 
opposes the spirit of youth. Disintegration characterizes this time, and 
thus uncertainty: nothing stands firmly on its feet or on a hard faith 
in itself; one lives for tomorrow, as the day after tomorrow is dubious. 
Everything on our way is slippery and dangerous, and the ice that still 
supports us has become thin: all of us feel the warm, uncanny breath of 
the thawing wind; where we still walk, soon no one will be able to walk. 

58 (1885-1888) 

If this is not an age of decay and declining vitality, it is at least 
one of headlong and arbitrary experimentation : --and it is probable that 
a superabundance of bungled experiments should create an overall 
impression as of decay--and perhaps even decay itself. 

59 (1885-1886) 

Toward a History of the Modern Eclipse 

The state nomads (civil servants, etc.) : without home. The decline of 
the family. The "good man" as a symptom of exhaustion. Justice as will 
to power (breeding) . 

Lasciviousness and neurosis. Black music: whither refreshing music? The 
anarchist. Contempt for man, nausea. Deepest difference: whether hunger 
or overabundance becomes creative? The former generates the ideals of 
romanticism. Nordic unnaturalness . The need for alcoholica: the 
"distress" of the workers. Philosophical nihilism. 

60 (1885) 

The slow emergence and rise of the middle and lower classes (including 
the lower kind of spirit and body), of which one finds many preludes 
before the French Revolution-and it--would have taken place without the 
Revolution, too— on the whole, then, the predominance of the herd over 
all shepherds and bellwethers-- involves 

1. eclipse of the spirit (the fusion of a Stoic and a frivolous 
appearance of happiness, characteristic of noble cultures, decreases; 
one lets much suffering be seen and heard that one formerly bore and 
hid) ; 

2. moral hypocrisy (a way of wishing to distinguish oneself not by means 
of morality, but by means of the herd virtues: pity, consideration, 
moderation, which are not recognized and honored outside the herd 
ability) ; 

3. a really great amount of shared suffering (pity) and joy (the 
pleasure in large-scale associations found in all herd animals 
--"community spirit," "Fatherland," everything in which the individual 
does not count ) . 

61 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

Our time, with its aspiration to remedy and prevent accidental 
distresses and to wage preventive war against disagreeable 
possibilities, is a time of the poor. Our "rich" — are poorest of all. 

The true purpose of all riches is forgotten. 

62 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Critigue of modern man (his moralistic mendaciousness ) : ~A -the "good 
man" corrupted and seduced by bad institutions (tyrants and priests) ;- 
reason as authority ; -history as overcoming of errors;-the future as 
progress ; -the Christian state ("the Lord of hosts" ); -the Christian sex 
impulse (or marriage); -the kingdom of "justice" (the cult of 
"humanity" ) ; -"freedom. " 

The romantic pose of modern man:-the noble man (Byron, Victor Hugo, 
George Sand) ; -noble indignation; -consecration through passion (as true 
"nature" ); -siding with the oppressed and underprivileged: motto of the 
historians and novelists ; -the Stoics of duty, -self lessness as art and 
knowledge, -altruism as the most mendacious form of egoism 
(utilitarianism), most sentimental egoism. 

All this is eighteenth century. What, on the other hand, has not been 
inherited from it: insouciance, cheerfulness, elegance, brightness of 
the spirit. The tempo of the spirit has changed; the enjoyment of 
refinement and clarity of the spirit has given place to the enjoyment of 
color, harmony, mass, reality, etc. Sensualism in matters of the spirit. 
In short, it is the eighteenth century of Rousseau. 

63 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

On the whole, a tremendous guantum of humaneness has been attained in 
present-day mankind. That this is not felt generally is itself a proof: 
we have become so sensitive concerning small states of distress that we 
unjustly ignore what has been attained. 

Here one must make allowance for the existence of much decadence, and 
seen with such eyes our world has to look wretched and miserable. But 
such eyes have at all times seen the same things: 

1. a certain overirritation even of the moral feelings; 

2. the guantum of embitterment and eclipse that pessimism carries into 
judgments: these two together account for the predominance of the 
opposite notion, that our morality is in a bad way. 

The fact of credit, of worldwide trade, of the means of transportation-- 
here a tremendous mild trust in man finds expression . --Another 
contributing factor is 

3. the emancipation of science from moral and religious purposes: a very 
good sign that, however, is usually misunderstood. 

In my own way I attempt a justification of history. 

64 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The second Buddhism. The nihilistic catastrophe that finishes Indian 
culture . --Early signs of it: The immense increase of pity. Spiritual 
weariness. The reduction of problems to guestions of pleasure and 
displeasure. The war glory that provokes a counterstroke . Just as 
national demarcation provokes a countermovement, the most cordial 
"fraternity." The impossibility for religion to go on working with 
dogmas and fables. 

65 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

What is attacked deep down today is the instinct and the will of 
tradition: all institutions that owe their origins to this instinct 

violate the taste of the modern spirit At bottom, nothing is thought 

and done without the purpose of eradicating this sense for tradition. 
One considers tradition a fatality; one studies it, recognizes it (as 
"heredity"), but one does not want it. The tensing of a will over long 
temporal distances, the selection of the states and valuations that 
allow one to dispose of future centuries --precisely this is antimodern 
in the highest degree. Which goes to show that it is the disorganizing 
principles that give our age its character. 

66 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

"Be simple ! "--for us complicated and elusive triers of the reins a 
demand that is a simple stupidity . --Be natural! But how if one happens 
to be "unnatural"? 

67 (1884) 

The former means for obtaining homogeneous, enduring characters for long 
generations: unalienable landed property, honoring the old (origin of 
the belief in gods and heroes as ancestors) . 

Now the breaking up of landed property belongs to the opposite tendency: 
newspapers (in place of daily prayers), railway, telegraph. 
Centralization of a tremendous number of different interests in a single 
soul, which for that reason must be very strong and protean. 

68 (March-June 1888) 

Why everything turns into histrionics . --Modern man lacks: the sure 
instinct (conseguence of a long homogeneous form of activity of one kind 
of man); the inability to achieve anything perfect is merely a 
conseguence of this: as an individual one can never make up for lost 
schooling . 

That which creates a morality, a code of laws: the profound instinct 
that only automatism makes possible perfection in life and creation. 

But now we have reached the opposite point; indeed, we wanted to reach 
it: the most extreme consciousness, man's ability to see through himself 
and history. With this we are practically as far as possible from 
perfection in being, doing, and willing: our desire, even our will for 
knowledge is a symptom of a tremendous decadence. We strive for the 
opposite of that which strong races, strong natures want--understanding 
is an ending. - 

That science is possible in this sense that is cultivated today is proof 
that all elementary instincts, life's instincts of self-defense and 
protection, no longer function. We no longer collect, we sguander the 
capital of our ancestors, even in the way in which we seek knowledge . - 

69 (1885-1886) Nihilistic Traits 

a. In the natural sciences ( "meaninglessness" ) ; causalism, mechanism. 
"Lawfulness" an entr'acte, a residue. 

b. Ditto in politics: one lacks the faith in one's right, innocence; 
mendaciousness rules and serving the moment. 

c. Ditto in economics: the abolition of slavery. The lack of a redeeming 
class, one that justif ies-advent of anarchism. "Education"? 

d. Ditto in history: fatalism, Darwinism; the final attempts to read 
reason and divinity into it fail. Sentimentality in face of the past; 
one could not endure a biography!-- (Here, too, phenomenalism: character 
as a mask; there are no facts.) 

e. Ditto in art: romanticism and its counterstroke (aversion against 
romantic ideals and lies) . The latter, moral as a sense of greater 
truthfulness, but pessimistic. Pure "artists" (indifferent toward 
content) . (Father-confessor psychology and puritan psychology, two forms 
of psychological romanticism: but even its counterproposal, the attempt 
to adopt a purely artistic attitude toward man— even there the opposite 
valuation is not yet ventured!) 

70 (1885-1886) 

Against the doctrine of the influence of the milieu and external causes: 
the force within is infinitely superior; much that looks like external 
influence is merely its adaptation from within. The very same milieus 
can be interpreted and exploited in opposite ways: there are no facts.-- 
A genius is not explained in terms of such conditions of his origin. 

71 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

"Modernity" in the perspective of the metaphor of nourishment and 
digestion . - 

Sensibility immensely more irritable (--dressed up moralistically : the 
increase in pity--); the abundance of disparate impressions greater than 
ever: cosmopolitanism in foods, literatures, newspapers, forms, tastes, 
even landscapes. The tempo of this influx prestissimo; the impressions 
erase each other; one instinctively resists taking in anything, taking 
anything deeply, to "digest" anything; a weakening of the power to 
digest results from this. A kind of adaptation to this flood of 
impressions takes place: men unlearn spontaneous action, they merely 
react to stimuli from outside. They spend their strength partly in 
assimilating things, partly in defense, partly in opposition. Profound 
weakening of spontaneity: the historian, critic, analyst, the 
interpreter, the observer, the collector, the reader-all of them 
reactive talents--all science! 

Artificial change of one's nature into a "mirror"; interested but, as it 
were, merely epidermically interested; a coolness on principle, a 
balance, a fixed low temperature closely underneath the thin surface on 
which warmth, movement, "tempest," and the play of waves are 
encountered . 

Opposition of external mobility and a certain deep heaviness and 
weariness . 

72 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Where does our modern world belong--to exhaustion or ascent? — Its 
manifoldness and unrest conditioned by the attainment of the highest 
level of consciousness. 

73 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overwork, curiosity and sympathy--our modern vices. 

74 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Toward a characterization of "modernity . "--Overabundant development of 
intermediary forms; atrophy of types; traditions break off, schools; the 
overlordship of the instincts 

(prepared philosophically: the unconscious worth more) after the will 
power, the willing of end and means, has been weakened. 

75 (1885) 

An able craftsman or scholar cuts a fine figure when he takes pride in 
his art and looks on life content and satisfied. But nothing looks more 
wretched than when a shoemaker or schoolmaster gives us to understand 
with a suffering mien that he was really born for something better. 
There is nothing better than what is good-- and good is having some 
ability and using that to create, Tuchtigkeit or virtu in the Italian 
Renaissance sense. 

Today, in our time when the state has an absurdly fat stomach, there are 
in all fields and departments, in addition to the real workers, also 
"representatives"; e. g., besides the scholars also scribblers, besides 
the suffering classes also garrulous, boastful peter-do-wells who 
"represent" this suffering, not to speak of the professional politicians 
who are well off while "representing" distress with powerful lungs 
before a parliament. Our modern life is extremely expensive owing to the 
large number of intermediaries; in an ancient city, on the other hand, 
and, echoing that, also in many cities in Spain and Italy, one appeared 
oneself and would have given a hoot to such modern representatives and 
intermediaries--or a kick! 

76 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The predominance of dealers and intermediaries in spiritual matters, 
too: the scribbler, the "representative," the historian (who fuses past 
and present), the exotician and cosmopolitan, the intermediaries between 
science and philosophy, the semitheologians . 

77 (1883-1888) 

Nothing to date has nauseated me more than the parasites of the spirit: 
in our unhealthy Europe one already finds them everywhere--and they have 
the best conscience in the world. Perhaps a little dim, a little air 
pessimiste, but in the main voracious, dirty, dirtying, creeping in, 
nestling, thievish, scurvy--and as innocent as all little sinners and 
microbes. They live off the fact that other people have spirit and 
sguander it: they know that it is of the very essence of the rich spirit 
to sguander itself carelessly, without petty caution, from day to day.-- 
For the spirit is a bad householder and pays no heed to how everybody 
lives and feeds on it. 

78(1885-1886) Histrionics 

The colorfulness of modern man and its charm. Essentially concealment 
and satiety. 

The scribbler. 

The politician (in "the nationalist swindle") . 

Histrionics in the arts: 

lack of probity in prior training and schooling (Fromentin); 

the romantics (lack of philosophy and science and superabundance of 
literature) ; 

the novelists (Walter Scott, but also the Nibelungen monsters along with 
the most nervous music); 

the lyric poets. 

Being "scientific." 

Virtuosos (Jews) . 

Popular ideals overcome, but not yet in the eyes of the people: the 
saint, the sage, the prophet. 

79 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The modern spirit's lack of discipline, dressed up in all sorts of moral 
fashions . --The showy words are: tolerance (for "the incapacity for Yes 
and No"); la largeur de sympathie ( = one-third indifference, one-third 
curiosity, one-third pathological irritability); "objectivity" (lack of 
personality, lack of will, incapacity for "love"); "freedom" versus 
rules (romanticism); "truth" versus forgery and lies (naturalism); being 
"scientific" (the "document hurnain" : in other words, the novel of 
colportage and addition in place of composition); "passion" meaning 
disorder and immoderation; "depth" meaning confusion, the profuse chaos 
of symbols . 

80 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Toward a critigue of the big words. --I am full of suspicion and malice 
against what they call "ideals": this is my pessimism, to have 
recognized how the "higher feelings" are a source of misfortune and 
man's loss of value. 

One is deceived every time one expects "progress" from an ideal; every 
time so far the victory of the ideal has meant a retrograde movement. 

Christianity, the revolution, the abolition of slavery, egual rights, 
philanthropy, love of peace, justice, truth: all these big words have 
value only in a fight, as flags: not as realities but as showy words for 
something guite different (indeed, opposite!) 

81 (1883-1888) 

One knows the kind of human being who has fallen in love with the motto, 
tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner . It is the weak, it is above all 
the disappointed: if there is something to be forgiven in all, perhaps 
there is also something to be despised in all. It is the philosophy of 
disappointment that wraps itself so humanely in pity and looks sweet. 

These are romantics whose faith flew the coop: now they at least want to 
watch how everything passes and goes. They call it 1 ' art pour l'art, 
"objectivity," etc. 

82 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Chief symptoms of pessimism: the diners chez Maguy; Russian pessimism 
(Tolstoy, Dostoevsky) ; aesthetic pessimism, 1 ' art pour l'art, 
"description" (romantic and antiromantic pessimism); epistemological 
pessimism (Schopenhauer, phenomenalism-); anarchistic pessimism; the 
"religion of pity," Buddhistic premovement; cultural pessimism 
(exoticism, cosmopolitanism); moralistic pessimism: I myself. 

83 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

"Without the Christian faith," Pascal thought, "you, no less than nature 
and history, will become for yourselves un monstre et un chaos." This 
prophecy we have furfilled, after the feeble-optimistic eighteenth 
century had prettified and rationalized man. 

Schopenhauer and Pascal. --In an important sense, Schopenhauer is the 
first to take up again the movement of Pascal: un rnonstre et un chaos, 
conseguently something to be negated.-- History, nature, man himself. 

"Our inability to know the truth is the conseguence of our corruption, 
our moral decay"; thus Pascal. And thus, at bottom, Schopenhauer. "The 
deeper the corruption of reason, the more necessary the doctrine of 
salvation"— or, in Schopenhauer's terms, negation. 

84 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Schopenhauer as throwback (state before the revolution) : Pity, 
sensuality, art, weakness of the will, Catholicism of spiritual 
cravings--that is good eighteenth century au fond. 

Schopenhauer's basic misunderstanding of the will (as if craving, 
instinct, drive were the essence of will) is typical: lowering the value 
of the will to the point of making a real mistake. Also hatred against 
willing; attempt to see something higher, indeed that which is higher 
and valuable, in willing no more, in "being a subject without aim and 
purpose" (in the "pure subject free of will") . Great symptom of the 
exhaustion or the weakness of the will: for the will is precisely that 
which treats cravings as their master and appoints to them their way and 
measure . 

85 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The unworthy attempt has been made to see Wagner and Schopenhauer as 
types of mental illness: one would gain an incomparably more essential 
insight by making more precise scientifically the type of decadence both 
represent . 

86 (1888) 

Your Henrik Ibsen has become very clear to me. For all his robust 
idealism and "will to truth" he did not dare to liberate himself from 
the illusionism of morality that speaks of freedom without wishing to 
admit to itself what freedom is: the second stage in the metamorphosis 
of the "will to power" — for those who lack freedom. On the first stage 
one demands justice from those who are in power. On the second, one 
speaks of "f reedom--that is, one wants to get away from those in power. 
On the third, one speaks of "egual rights"--that is, as long as one has 
not yet gained superiority one wants to prevent one's competitors from 
growing in power . 

87 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Decline of Protestantism: understood as a halfway house both 
theoretically and historically. Actual superiority of Catholicism; the 
feeling of Protestantism extinguished to such an extent that the 
strongest anti-Protestant movements are no longer experienced as such 
(for example, Wagner's Parsifal) . All of the higher regions of the 
spirit in France are Catholic in their instincts; Bismarck realizes that 
Protestantism simply doesn't exist any more. 

88 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Protestantism, that spiritually unclean and boring form of decadence in 
which Christianity has been able so far to preserve itself in the 
mediocre north: valuable for knowledge as something complex and a 
halfway house, in so far as it brought together in the same heads 
experiences of different orders and origins. 

89 (March-June 1888) 

How did the German spirit transform Christianity ! --And to stick to 
Protestantism: how much beer there is in Protestant Christianity! Can 
one even imagine a spiritually staler, lazier, more comfortably relaxed 
form of the Christian faith than that of the average Protestant in 

That's what I call a modest version of Christianity! A homoeopathy of 
Christianity is what I call it. 

One reminds me that today we also encounter an immodest Protestantism-- 
that of the court chaplains and anti-Semitic speculators: but nobody has 
claimed yet that any "spirit" whatever "moved" on the faces of these 
waters . --That is merely a more indecent form of Christianity, by no 
means more sensible. 

90 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Progress . --Let us not be deceived! Time marches forward; we'd like to 
believe that everything that is in it also marches f orward--that the 
development is one that moves forward. 

The most level-headed are led astray by this illusion. But the 
nineteenth century does not represent progress over the sixteenth; and 
the German spirit of 1888 represents a regress from the German spirit of 

"Mankind" does not advance, it does not even exist. The overall aspect 
is that of a tremendous experimental laboratory in which a few successes 
are scored, scattered throughout all ages, while there are untold 
failures, and all order, logic, union, and obligingness are lacking. How 
can we fail to recognize that the ascent of Christianity is a movement 
of decadence?-That the German Reformation is a recrudescence of 
Christian barbarism?-That the Revolution destroyed the instinct for a 
grand organization of society? 

Man represents no progress over the animal: the civilized tenderfoot is 
an abortion compared to the Arab and Corsican; the Chinese is a more 
successful type, namely more durable, than the European. 

91 (1888) On German Pessimism 

The eclipse, the pessimistic coloring, comes necessarily in the wake of 
the Enlightenment. Around 1770 the decline of cheerfulness began to be 

noticed; women, with that feminine instinct which always sides with 
virtue, supposed that immorality was the cause. Galiani hit the nail on 
the head: he cites Voltaire's verse: 

Un monstre gai vaut mieux 

Qu ' un sentimental ennuyeux. 

When I believe now that I am a few centuries ahead in Enlightenment not 
only of Voltaire but even of Galiani, who was far profounder — how far 
must I have got in the increase of darkness! And this is really the 
case, and I bewared in time, with some sort of regret, of the German and 
Christian narrowness and inconseguence of pessimism a la Schopenhauer 
or, worse, Leopardi, and sought out the most guintessential forms 
(Asia) . But in order to endure this type of extreme pessimism (it can be 
perceived here and there in my Birth of Tragedy) and to live alone 
"without God and morality" I had to invent a counterpart for myself. 
Perhaps I know best why man alone laughs: he alone suffers so deeply 
that he had to invent laughter. The unhappiest and most melancholy 
animal is, as fitting, the most cheerful. 

92 (1883-1888) 

Regarding German culture, I have always had the feeling of decline. This 
fact, that I first became acguainted with a type in decline, has often 
made me unfair to the whole phenomenon of European culture. The Germans 
always come after the others, much later: they are carrying something in 
the depths; e. g.,- 

Dependence on other countries; e. g., Kant-Rousseau, Sensualists, Hume, 
Swedenborg . 

Schopenhauer-Indians and romanticism, Voltaire. 

Wagner-French cult of the gruesome and of grand opera, Paris and the 
flight into primeval states (marriage with the sister) . 

--The law of the latecomers (province to Paris, Germany to France) . Why 
the Germans of all people discovered the Greek spirit (the more one 
develops a drive, the more attractive does it become to plunge for once 
into its opposite) . 

Music is swan song. 

93 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Renaissance and Reformation . -What does the Renaissance prove? That the 
reign of the individual has to be brief. The sguandering is too great; 
the very possibility of collecting and capitalizing is lacking; and 
exhaustion follows immediately. These are times when everything is 
spent, when the very strength is spent with which one collects, 
capitalizes, and piles riches upon riches.- Even the opponents of such 
movements are forced into an absurd waste of energy; they, too, soon 
become exhausted, spent, desolate. 

In the Reformation we possess a wild and vulgar counterpart to the 
Italian Renaissance, born of related impulses; only in the retarded 
north, which had remained coarse, they had to don a religious disguise; 
for there the concept of the higher life had not yet detached itself 
from that of the religious life. 

Through the Reformation, too, the individual sought freedom; "everybody 
his own priest" is also a mere formula of libertinage. In truth, one 
word was enough--"evangelical f reedom"— and all instincts that had 
reason to remain hidden broke out like wild dogs, the most brutal 
reguirements suddenly acguired the courage to face themselves, and 
everything seemed justified . --One was careful not to understand what 
liberty one had really meant at bottom; one shut one's eyes before 
oneself . --But shutting one's eyes and moistening one's lips with 
enthusiastic orations did not prevent one's hands from grasping whatever 
could be grabbed, and the belly became the god of the "free evangel," 
and all the cravings of revenge and envy satisfied themselves with 
insatiable rage.- 

This took a while; then exhaustion set in, just as it had in the south 
of Europe — and here, too, a vulgar kind of exhaustion, a general were in 
servitium. — The indecent century of Germany arrived. - 

94 (1884) 

Chivalry as the conguered position of power: its gradual breaking up 
(and in part transition into what is more spread out, bourgeois) . In La 
Rochefoucauld we find a consciousness of the true motive springs of 
noblesse of the mind--and a view of these motive springs that is 
darkened by Christianity. 

The French Revolution as the continuation of Christianity. Rousseau is 
the seducer: he again unfetters woman who is henceforth represented in 
an ever more interesting manner— as suffering. Then the slaves and Mrs. 
Beecher- Stowe. Then the poor and the workers. Then the vice addicts and 
the sick--all this is moved into the foreground 

(even to develop sympathy for the genius one no longer knows any other 
way for the past five hundred years than to represent him as the bearer 
of great suffering!) . Next come the curse on voluptuousness (Baudelaire 
and Schopenhauer); the most decided conviction that the lust to rule is 
the greatest vice; the perfect certainty that morality and 
disinterestedness are identical concepts and that the "happiness of 
all" is a goal worth striving for (i. e., the kingdom of heaven of 
Christ) . We are well along on the way: the kingdom of heaven of the poor 
in spirit has begun.-- Intermediary stages: the bourgeois (a parvenu on 
account of money) and the worker (on account of the machine) . 

Comparison of Greek culture and that of the French in the age of Louis 
XIV. Decided faith in oneself. A leisure class whose members make things 
difficult for themselves and exercise much self-overcoming. The power of 
form, the will to give form to oneself. "Happiness" admitted as a goal. 
Much strength and energy behind the emphasis on forms. The delight in 
looking at a life that seems so easy. --To the French, the Greeks looked 
like children. 

95 (Spring-Fall 1887) 
The Three Centuries 

Their different sensibilities are best expressed thus: 

Aristocratism: Descartes, rule of reason, testimony of the sovereignty 
of the will; 

Feminism: Rousseau, rule of feeling, testimony of the sovereignty of the 
senses, mendacious; 

Animalism: Schopenhauer, rule of craving, testimony of the sovereignty 
of animality, more honest but gloomy. 

The seventeenth century is aristocratic, imposes order, looks down 
haughtily upon the animalic, is severe against the heart, not cozy, 
without sentiment, "un-German, " averse to what is burlesgue and what is 
natural, inclined to generalizations and sovereign confronted with the 
past--for it believes in itself. Much beast of prey au fond, much 
ascetic habit to remain master. The century of strong will; also of 
strong passion. 

The eighteenth century is dominated by woman, given to enthusiasm, full 
of esprit, shallow, but with a spirit in the service of what is 
desirable, of the heart, libertine in the enjoyment of what is most 
spiritual, and undermines all authorities; intoxicated, cheerful, clear, 
humane, false before itself, much canaille au fond, sociable. - 

The nineteenth century is more animalic and subterranean, uglier, more 
realistic and vulgar, and precisely for that reason "better, " "more 
honest," more submissive before every kind of "reality," truer; but weak 
in will, but sad and full of dark cravings, but fatalistic. Not full of 
awe and reverence for either "reason" or "heart"; deeply convinced of 
the rule of cravings (Schopenhauer spoke of "will"; but nothing is more 
characteristic of his philosophy than the absence of all genuine 
willing) . Even morality reduced to one instinct ("pity") . 

Auguste Comte is a continuation of the eighteenth century (domination of 
coeur over la tete, sensualism in the theory of knowledge, altruistic 
enthusiasm) . 

That science has become sovereign to such a degree proves how the 
nineteenth century has rid itself of the domination of ideals. A certain 
frugality of desire makes possible our scientific curiosity and 
severity — which is our kind of virtue. - 

Romanticism is an echo of the eighteenth century; a kind of piled-high 
desire for its enthusiasm in the grand style (as a matter of fact, a 
good deal of histrionics and self-deception: one wanted to represent 
strong natures and grand passions) . 

The nineteenth century looks instinctively for theories that seem to 
justify its fatalistic submission to matters of fact. Already Hegel's 
success against "sentimentality" and romantic idealism was due to his 
fatalistic way of thinking, to his faith in the greater reason on the 
side of the victorious, to his justification of the actual "state" (in 
place of "mankind," etc. J.- 
Schopenhauer : we are something stupid and, at best, even something that 
cancels itself. Success of determinism, of the genealogical derivation 
of obligations that had formerly been considered absolute, the doctrine 
of milieu and adaptation, the reduction of will to reflexes, the denial 
of the will as an "efficient cause"; finally--a real rechristening: one 
sees so little will that the word becomes free to designate something 
else. Further theories: the doctrine of objectivity--"will- less" 
contemplation--as the only road to truth; also to beauty (--also the 
faith in the "genius" to justify a right to submission); mechanism, the 
calculable rigidity of the mechanical process; the alleged 
"naturalism, " elimination of the choosing, judging, interpreting subject 
as a principle- 
Kant, with his "practical reason" and his moral fanaticism is wholly 

eighteenth century; still entirely outside the historical movement; 
without any eye for the actuality of his time, e. g., Revolution; 
untouched by Greek philosophy; fanciful visionary of the concept of 
duty; sensualist with the backdrop of the pampering of dogmatism. - 

The movement back to Kant in our century is a movement back to the 
eighteenth century: one wants to regain a right to the old ideals and 
the old enthusiasm--f or that reason an epistemology that "sets 
boundaries," which means that it permits one to posit as one may see fit 
a beyond of reason. - 

Hegel's way of thinking is not far different from Goethe's: one needs 
only to listen to Goethe about Spinoza. Will to deify the universe and 
life in order to find repose and happiness in contemplation and in 
getting to the bottom of things; Hegel seeks reason everywhere—before 
reason one may submit and acguiesce. In Goethe a kind of almost joyous 
and trusting fatalism that does not revolt, that does not flag, that 
seeks to form a totality out of himself, in the faith that only in the 
totality everything redeems itself and appears good and justified. 

96 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Period of the Enlightenment--f ollowed by the period of sentimentality. 
To what extent Schopenhauer belongs to "sentimentality" (Hegel to 
spirituality) . 

97 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The seventeenth century suffers of man as of a sum of contradictions 
("l'ames de contradictions" that we are); it seeks to discover, order, 
excavate man--while the eighteenth century seeks to forget what is known 
of man's nature in order to assimilate him to its Utopia. "Superficial, 
tender, humane"--enthusiastic about "man"- 

The seventeenth century seeks to erase the tracks of the individual to 
make the work look as similar to life as possible. The eighteenth uses 
the work in an attempt to arouse interest in the author. The seventeenth 
century seeks in art--art, a piece of culture; the eighteenth uses art 
to make propaganda for reforms of a social and political nature. 

"Utopia," the "ideal man," the deification of nature, the vanity of 
posing, the subordination to propaganda for social goals, charlatanism-- 
these are our gifts from the eighteenth century. 

The style of the seventeenth century: propre, exact et libre. 

The strong individual, self -auf f icient or zealously occupied before 
God--and this modern obtrusiveness of authors who all but leap out at 
you--these furnish some contrast. "To perform" --compare that with the 
scholars of Port-Royal. 

Alfieri had a sense for grand style. 

Hatred of the burlesgue (undignified), lack of a sense for nature belong 
to the seventeenth century. 

98 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Against Rousseau.- Unfortunately, man is no longer evil enough; 
Rousseau's opponents who say "man is a beast of prey" are unfortunately 
wrong. Not the corruption of man but the extent to which he has become 

tender and moralized is his curse. 

Precisely in the sphere that Rousseau fought most violently one could 
find the relatively still strong and well-turned-out type of man (those 
in whom the grand affects were still unbroken: will to power, will to 
enjoyment, will and capacity to command) . The man of the eighteenth 
century has to be compared with the man of the Renaissance (also with 
the man of the seventeenth century in France), so that one feels what is 
at stake: Rousseau is a symptom of self-contempt and heated vanity--both 
signs that the domineering will is lacking: he moralizes and, as a man 
of rancor, seeks the cause of his wretchedness in the ruling classes. 

99 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Against Rousseau . --The state of nature is terrible, man is a beast of 
prey; our civilization represents a tremendous triumph over this beast- 
of-prey nature: thus argued Voltaire. He felt the mitigation, the 
subtleties, the spiritual joys of the civilized state; he despised 
narrowmindedness, also in the form of virtue, and the lack of 
delicatesse, also among ascetics and monks. 

The moral reprehensibility of man seemed to preoccupy Rousseau; with the 
words "unjust" and "cruel" one can best stir up the instincts of the 
oppressed who otherwise smart under the ban of the vetitum and disfavor, 
so their conscience advises them against rebellious cravings. Such 
emancipators seek one thing above all: to give their party the grand 
accents and poses of the higher nature. 

100 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Rousseau: the rule based on feeling; nature as the source of justice; 
man perfects himself to the extent to which he approaches nature 
(according to Voltaire, to the extent to which he moves away from 
nature) . The very same epochs are for one ages of the progress of 
humanity; for the other, times when injustice and ineguality grow worse. 

Voltaire still comprehended umanita in the Renaissance sense; also virtu 
(as "high culture"); he tights for the cause of the "honnetes gens" and 
"de la bonne compagnie, " the cause of taste, of science, of the arts, of 
progress itself and civilization. 

The fight began around 1760: the citizen of Geneva and le seigneur de 
Ferney. Only from that moment on Voltaire becomes the man of his 
century, the philosopher, the representative of tolerance and unbelief 
(till then merely un bel esprit) . Envy and hatred of Rousseau's success 
impelled him forward, "to the heights." 

Pour "la canaille" un dieu remunerateur et vengeur- Voltaire. 

Critigue of both points of view in regard to the value of civilization. 
The social invention is for Voltaire the most beautiful there is: there 
is no higher goal than to maintain and perfect it; precisely this is 
honnetete, to respect social conventions; virtue as obedience to certain 
necessary "prejudices" in favor of the preservation of "society." 
Missionary of culture, aristocrat, representative of the victorious, 
ruling classes and their valuations. But Rousseau remained a plebeian, 
also as homme de lettres; that was unheard of; his impudent contempt of 
all that was not he himself. 

What was sick in Rousseau was admired and imitated most. (Lord Byron 
related to him; also worked himself up into sublime poses and into 

vindictive rancor; sign of "meanness"; later attained balance through 
Venice and comprehended what produces more ease and well- 
being~ ' insouciance . ) 

Rousseau is proud in regard to what he is, in spite of his origins; but 
he is beside himself when one reminds him of it . - 

Rousseau, beyond a doubt, mentally disturbed; in Voltaire an uncommon 
health and light touch. The rancor of the sick; the periods of his 
insanity also those of his contempt of man and his mistrust. 

The defense of providence by Rousseau (against the pessimism of 
Voltaire) : he needed God in order to be able to cast a curse upon 
society and civilization; everything had to be good in itself because 
God had created it; only man has corrupted men. The "good man" as the 
natural man was pure fantasy; but with the dogma of God's authorship it 
seemed probable and well-founded. 

Romanticism a la Rousseau: passion ("the sovereign right of passion"); 
"naturalness"; the fascination of madness (folly included in greatness); 
the absurd vanity of the weak man; the rancor of the mob as judge ("for 
a hundred years now, a sick man has been accepted as a leader in 
politics" ) . 

101 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Kant: makes the epistemological skepticism of the English possible for 
Germans : 

1. by enlisting for it the sympathy of the moral and religious needs of 
the Germans; just as the later philosophers of the Academy used 
skepticism for the same reason, as a preparation for Platonism (vice 
Augustin); and as Pascal used even moralistic skepticism in order to 
excite the need for faith ("to justify it"); 

2. by scholastically involuting and curlicueing it and thus making it 
acceptable for the German taste regarding scientific form (for Locke and 
Hume in themselves were too bright, too clear, i. e., judged according 
to German value instincts, "too superficial"-) 

Kant: inferior in his psychology and knowledge of human nature; way off 
when it comes to great historical values (French Revolution); a moral 
fanatic a la Rousseau; a subterranean Christianity in his values; a 
dogmatist through and through, but ponderously sick of this inclination, 
to such an extent that he wished to tyrannize it, but also weary right 
away of skepticism; not yet touched by the slightest breath of 
cosmopolitan taste and the beauty of antiguity--a delayer and mediator, 
nothing original (just as Leibniz mediated and built a bridge between 
mechanism and spiritualism, as Goethe did between the taste of the 
eighteenth century and that of the "historical sense" 
(which is essentially a sense for the exotic), as German music did 
between French and Italian music, as Charlemagne did between imperium 
Romanum and nationalism--delayers par excellence. ) 

102 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

In how far the Christian centuries with their pessimism were stronger 
centuries than the eighteenth century--like the tragic era of the 
Greeks . 

The nineteenth century vis-a-vis the eighteenth century. In what 

respects heir--in what respects a regression (poorer in "spirit" and 
taste) --in what respects progress (darker, more realistic, stronger) . 

103 (1883-1888)75 

What does it mean that we have such a feeling for the campagna Romana? 
And for high mountain ranges? What is the meaning of our nationalism? 

Chateaubriand in 1803, in a letter to M. de Fontanes, gives the first 
impression of the campagna Romana. 

President de Grosses says of the campagna Romana: "il fallait gue 
Romulus fut ivre, guand il songea a batir une ville dans un terrain 
aussi laid." 

Delacroix, too, did not like Rome, it frightened him. He was 
enthusiastic about Venice, like Shakespeare, like Byron, like George 
Sand. This aversion to Rome also in Theoph. Gautier--and in Rich. 
Wagner . 

Lamartine has found language for Sorrent and Posilipp. 

Victor Hugo was enthusiastic about Spain, "parce gue aucune autre nation 
n'a moins emprunte' a 1 ' antiguite ' , parce gu'elle n'a subi aucune 
influence classigue. ' ' 

104 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The two great tentative ones, made to overcome the eighteenth century: 

Napoleon, by awakening again the man, the soldier, and the great fight 
for power-conceiving Europe as a political unit; 

Goethe, by imagining a European culture that would harvest the full 
inheritance of attained humanity. 

German culture of this century arouses mistrust-in music this full, 
redeeming and binding element of Goethe is lacking- The Austrians have 
remained German only by virtue of their music. 

105 (1883-1888) 

The preponderance of music in the romantics of 1839 and 1840. Delacroix. 
Ingres, a passionate musician (cult of Gluck, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart), 
said to his students in Rome, "si je pouvais vous rendre tous musicians, 
vous y gagneriez comme peintres"; also Horace Vernet, with a special 
passion for Don Giovanni (as Mendelssohn testifies, 1831); also 
Stendhal, who said of himself: Combien de lieues ne ferais-je pas a 
pied, et combien de jours de prison ne me soumetterais- je pas pour 
entendre Don Juan ou le Matromonio segreto: et je ne sais pour gueue 
autre chose je ferais cet eport . At that time he was 56. 

Borrowed forms; e. g., Brahms as typical "epigone"; Mendelssohn's 
educated Protestantism, ditto (an earlier "soul" is recaptured 

-moral and poetical substitutions in Wagner, one art as stopgap for 
deficiencies in the others 

-the "historical sense, " inspiration from poetry and ancient sagas 

-that typical transformation of which G. Flaubert offers the clearest 
example among the French and Richard Wagner among the Germans, in which 
the romantic faith in love and the future is transformed into the desire 
for the nothing, 1830 into 1850. 

106 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Why does German music culminate in the period of German 

romanticism? Why is Goethe missing in German music? How much Schiller-- 
more precisely, how much "Thekla"--there is in Beethoven! 

Schumann has in himself Eichendorff, Uhland, Heine, Hoffmann, Tieck. 
Richard Wagner has Freischutz, Hoffmann, Grimm, the romantic saga, the 
mystical Catholicism of instinct, symbolism, the "libertinism of 
passion" (Rousseau's intent) . The Flying Dutchman tastes of France, 
where le tene'breux was the type of the seducer in 1830. 

Cult of music, of the revolutionary romanticism of form. Wagner sums up 
romanticism, German as well as French- 

107 (1888) 

Estimated merely for his value for Germany and German culture, Richard 
Wagner remains a great guestion mark, perhaps a German misfortune, in 
any case a destiny: but what does it matter? Isn't he very much more 
than merely a German event? It even seems to me that there is no place 
where he belongs less than Germany: nothing was prepared for him there; 
his whole type remains simply strange among Germans, odd, 

uncomprehended, incomprehensible But one is careful not to admit this to 
oneself: for that one is too kindly, too sguare, too German. "Credo guia 
absurdus est": that is what the German spirit wants and also wanted in 
this case--and so it believes for the present whatever Wagner wanted 
people to believe about him. The German spirit has at all times lacked 
subtlety and divination in psychologicis . Today, under the high pressure 
of f atherlandism and self-admiration, it is visibly thickening and 
becoming coarser: how should it be capable of coping with the problem of 
Wagner ! - 

108 (1885) 

So far, the Germans are nothing, but they will become something; thus 
they have no culture yet-thus they cannot have any culture yet. That is 
my proposition: let those who cannot help it take offense. --So far they 
are nothing: that means, they are all sorts of things. They will become 
something: that means, they will stop some day being all sorts of 
things. The latter is at bottom a mere wish, scarcely a hope; 
fortunately, a wish on which one can live, a matter of will, of work, of 
discipline, of breeding, as well as a matter of annoyance, of desire, of 
missing something, of discomfort, even of embitterment-in brief, we 
Germans desire something from ourselves that has not yet been desired 
from us--we desire something more! 

That this "German as he is not yet" deserves something better than 
today's German "Bildung"; that all who are "in the process of becoming" 
must be furious when they perceive some satisfaction in this area, an 
impertinent "retiring on one's laurels" or " self congratulation" : that is 
my second proposition on which I also have not yet changed my mind. 

109 (1885) 

Principle: There is an element of decay in everything that characterizes 
modern man: but close beside this sickness stand signs of an untested 
force and powerfulness of the soul. The same reasons that produce the 
increasing smallness of man drive the stronger and rarer individuals up 
to greatness. 

110 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overall insight: the ambiguous character of our modern world _the very 
same symptoms could point to decline and to strength. And the signs of 
strength, of the attainment of majority, could be misconstrued as 
weakness on the basis of traditional (residual) negative emotional 
valuations. In brief, our feelings, as feelings about values, are not up 
to date. 

To generalize: feelings about values are always behind the times; they 
express conditions of preservation and growth that belong to times long 
gone by; they resist new conditions of existence with which they cannot 
cope and which they necessarily misunderstand: thus they inhibit and 
arouse suspicion against what is new.- 

111 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The problem of the nineteenth century. Whether its strong and weak sides 
belong together? Whether it is all of one piece? Whether the diverseness 
of its ideals and their mutual inconsistency are due to a higher aim: as 

something higher. For it could be the precondition of greatness to 

grow to such an extent in violent tension. Dissatisfaction, nihilism 
could be a good sign. 

112 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Overall insight . -Actually, every major growth is accompanied by a 
tremendous crumbling and passing away: suffering, the symptoms of 
decline belong in the times of tremendous advances; every fruitful and 
powerful movement of humanity has also created at the same time a 
nihilistic movement. It could be the sign of a crucial and most 
essential growth, of the transition to new conditions of existence, that 
the most extreme form of pessimism, genuine nihilism, would come into 
the world. This I have comprehended. 

113 (1883-1888) 

( A ) 

To begin with a full and cordial tribute to contemporary humanity: not 
to be deceived by appearances--this type of humanity is less striking 
but gives far better warranties of duration; its tempo is slower, but 
the beat is much richer. Health is increasing, the actual conditions for 
a strong body get recognized and are slowly created, "asceticism" 
ironice. One shrinks from extremes; a certain confidence in the "right 
road' 1 ; no enthusing; temporary acclimatization to narrower values (like 
"fatherland," like "scholarship," etc.). 

Still, this whole picture would remain ambiguous: it could be an 
ascending but also a descending movement of life. 

( B ) 

Faith in "progress "-in the lower spheres of intelligence it appears as 
ascending life; but this is self-deception; in the higher spheres of 

intelligence as decending life. 

Description of the symptoms. 

Unity of point of view: uncertainty about standards of value. Fear of a 
general "in vain." Nihilism. 

114 (June 10,1887) 

Actually, we have no longer such need of an antidote to the first 
nihilism: life in our Europe is no longer that uncertain, capricious, 
absurd. Such a tremendous increase in the value of man, the value of 
trouble, etc., is not so needful now; we can take a significant decrease 
of this value, we may concede much absurdity and caprice: the power man 
has attained now permits a demotion of the means of breeding of which 
the moral interpretation was the strongest. "God"' is far too extreme a 
hypothesis . 

115 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

If anything signifies our humanization — a genuine and actual progress- 
it is the fact that we no longer reguire excessive oppositions, indeed 
no opposites at all-- we may love the senses, we have spiritualized and 
made them artistic in every degree; we have a right to all those things 
which were most maligned until now." 

116 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The inversion of the order of rank. -The pious counterfeiters, the 
priests, among us become chandalas--they replace the charlatans, guacks, 
counterfeiters, and wizards; we consider them corrupters of the will, 
great slanderers of life on which they wish to revenge themselves, 
rebels among the underprivileged. We have turned the caste of senants, 
the Sudras, into our middle class, our "Volk" ["people"], those who make 
political decisions. 

On the other hand, the chandala of former times is at the top: foremost, 
those who blaspheme God, the immoralists, the nomads of every type, the 
artists, Jews, musicians — at bottom, all disreputable classes of men- 

We have raised ourselves to the level of honorable thoughts; even more, 
we determine honor on earth, "nobility "--All of us are today advocates 
of life. --We immoralists are today the strongest power: the other great 
powers need us--we construe the world in our image- 

We have transferred the concept of the "chandala" to the priests, 
teachers of a beyond, and the Christian society that is grown together 
with them, as well as all who are of the same origin, the pessimists, 
nihilists, romantics of pity, criminals, vice addicts-- the whole sphere 
in which the concept of "God" is imagined as a savior- 

We are proud of no longer having to be liars, slanderers, men who cast 
suspicion on life- 

117 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Progress of the nineteenth century against the eighteenth (--at bottom 
we good Europeans wage a war against the eighteenth century--) : 

1. "Return to nature" understood more and more decisively in the 
opposite sense from Rousseau's. Away from idyl and opera! 

2. more and more decisively anti-idealistic, more concrete, more 
fearless, industrious, moderate, suspicious against sudden changes, 
ant ir evolutionary; 

3. more and more decisively the guestion concerning the health of the 
body is put ahead of that of "the soul": the latter being understood as 
a state conseguent upon the former, and the former at the very least as 
a precondition of the health of the soul. 

118 (1883-1888) 

If anything at all has been achieved, it is a more innocuous relation to 
the senses, a more joyous, benevolent, Goethean attitude toward 
sensuality; also a prouder feeling regarding the search for knowledge, 
so that the "pure fool" is not given much credit. 

119 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. 1888) 

We who are "objective . "-It is not "pity" that opens the gates to the 
most distant and strange types of being and culture to us, but rather 
our accessibility and lack of partiality that does not empathize with or 
share suffering but on the contrary takes delight in a hundred things 
that formerly led people to suffer (feel outraged or deeply moved, or 
prompted hostile and cold looks-) . Suffering in all its nuances has 
become interesting for us: in this respect we are certainly not fuller 
of pity, even when we are shaken by the sight of suffering and moved to 
tears: we do not by any means for that reason feel like helping. 

In this voluntary desire to contemplate all sorts of distress and 
transgressions we have become stronger and more vigorous than the 
eighteenth century was; it is a proof of our increase in vigor (we have 
come closer to the seventeenth and sixteenth centuries.) . But it is a 
profound misunderstanding to construe our "romanticism" as a proof that 
our "souls" have become "more beautiful"- 

We desire strong sensations as all coarser ages and social strata do.-- 
This should be distinguished from the needs of those with weak nerves 
and the decadents: they have a need for pepper, even for cruelty- 
All of us seek states in which bourgeois morality no longer has any say, 
and priestly morality even less (--every book to which some of the air 
of pastors and theologians still clings gives us the impression of a 
pitiable niaiserie and poverty . --"Good society" consists of those whom 
at bottom nothing interests except what is forbidden in bourgeois 
society and gives a bad reputation: the same applies to books, music, 
politics, and the estimation of woman. 

120 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

How man has become more natural in the nineteenth century (the 
eighteenth century is that of elegance, refinement, and sentiments 
genereux) .--Not "return to nature" — for there has never yet been a 
natural humanity. The scholasticism of un- and antinatural values is the 
rule, is the beginning; man reaches nature only after a long struggle-- 
he never "returns" to Nature: i. e., daring to be immoral like nature. 

We are coarser, more direct, full of irony against generous feelings 
even when we succumb to them. 

More natural is our first society, that of the rich, the leisure class: 

they hunt each other, love between the sexes is a kind of sport in which 
marriage furnishes an obstacle and a provocation; they amuse themselves 
and live for pleasure; they esteem physical advantages above all, are 
curious and bold. 

More natural is our attitude to the search for knowledge: we possess 
libertinage of the spirit in all innocence, we hate pompous and 
hieratical manners, we delight in what is most forbidden, we should 
hardly know any longer of any interest of knowledge if the way to it 
were paved with boredom. 

More natural is our attitude toward morality. Principles have become 
ridiculous; nobody permits himself any longer to speak without irony of 
his "duty." But a helpful, benevolent disposition is esteemed (morality 
is found in an instinct, and the rest is spurned. In addition a few 
concepts of points of honor-) . 

More natural is our position in politicis: we see problems of power, of 
one guantum of power against another. We do not believe in any right 
that is not supported by the power of enforcement: we feel all rights to 
be conguests. 

More natural is our estimation of great human beings and great things: 
we consider passion a privilege, we consider nothing great unless it 
includes a great crime; we conceive all being-great as a placing- 
oneself -outside as far as morality is concerned. 

More natural is our attitude toward nature: we no longer love it on 
account of its "innocence," "reason," or "beauty"; we have made it 
nicely "devilish" and "dumb." But instead of despising it on that 
account, we have felt more closely related to it ever since, more at 
home in it. It does not aspire to virtue, and for that we respect 
nature . 

More natural is our attitude toward art: we do not demand beautiful 
illusory lies from it, etc.; brutal positivism reigns, recognizing facts 
without becoming excited. 

In summa: there are signs that the European of the nineteenth century is 
less ashamed of his instincts; he has taken a goodly step toward 
admitting to himself his unconditional naturalness, i. e., his 
immorality, without becoming embittered--on the contrary, strong enough 
to endure only this sight. 

This sounds to some ears as if corruption had progressed-- and it is 
certain that man has not come dose to that "nature" of which Rousseau 
speaks but has progressed another step in civilization, which Rousseau 
abhorred. We have become stronger: we have again come closer to the 
seventeenth century, especially to the taste of its end 
(Dancourt, Lesage, Regnard) . 

121 (1888) 

Culture contra civilization . -The high points of culture and civilization 
do not coincide: one should not be deceived about the abysmal antagonism 
of culture and civilization. The great moments of culture were always, 
morally speaking, times of corruption; and conversely, the periods when 
the taming of the human animal ("civilization") was desired and enforced 
were times of intolerance against the boldest and most spiritual 
natures. Civilization has aims different from those of culture--perhaps 
they are even opposite- 

122 (January-Fall 1888) 

What I warn against: the instincts of decadence should not be confused 
with humaneness; the means of civilization, which lead to disintegration 
and necessarily to decadence, should not be confused with culture; the 
libertinage, the principle of "laisser aller, " should not be confused 
with the will to power (--which is the counterprinciple ) . 

123 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The unfinished problems I pose anew: the problem of civilization, the 
fight between Rousseau and Voltaire around 1760. Man becomes more 
profound, mistrustful, "immoral," stronger, more confident of himself-- 
and to this extent "more natural": this is "progress . "--At the same 
time, in accordance with a kind of division of labor, the strata that 
have become more evil are separated from those that have become milder 
and tamer-so that the overall fact is not noticed immediately . --It is 
characteristic of strength, of the self-control and fascination of 
strength, that these stronger strata possess the art of making others 
experience their progress in evil as something higher. It is 
characteristic of every "progress" that the strengthened elements are 
reinterpreted as "good." 

124 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

To give men back the courage to their natural drives- 

To check their self -underestimation (not that of man as an individual 
but that of man as nature-) - 

To remove antitheses from things after comprehending that we have 
projected them there- 

To remove the idiosyncrasies of society from existence (guilt, 
punishment, justice, honesty, freedom, love, etc.)- 

Progress toward "naturalness": in all political guestions, also in the 
relations of parties, even of commercial, workers', and employers' 
parties, guestions of power are at stake--"what one can do," and only 
after that what one ought to do. 

125 (1885)1 

Socialism--as the logical conclusion of the tyranny of the least and the 
dumbest, i. e., those who are superficial, envious, and three-guarters 
actors-is indeed entailed by "modern ideas" and their latent anarchism; 
but in the tepid air of democratic well-being the capacity to reach 
conclusions, or to finish, weakens. One follows --but one no longer sees 
what follows. Therefore socialism is on the whole a hopeless and sour 
affair; and nothing offers a more amusing spectacle than the contrast 
between the poisonous and desperate faces cut by today's socialists--and 
to what wretched and pinched feelings their style bears witness ! --and 
the harmless lambs' happiness of their hopes and desiderata. 
Nevertheless, in many places in Europe they may yet bring off occasional 
coups and attacks: there will be deep "rumblings" in the stomach of the 
next century, and the Paris commune, which has its apologists and 
advocates in Germany, too, was perhaps no more than a minor indigestion 
compared to what is coming. But there will always be too many who have 
possessions for socialism to signify more than an attack of sickness — 
and those who have possessions are of one mind on one article of faith: 

"one must possess something in order to be something." But this is the 
oldest and healthiest of all instincts: I should add, "one must want to 
have more than one has in order to become more." For this is the 
doctrine preached by life itself to all that has life: the morality of 
development. To have and to want to have more--growth, in one word--that 
is life itself. In the doctrine of socialism there is hidden, rather 
badly, a "will to negate life"; the human beings or races that think up 
such a doctrine must be bungled. Indeed, I should wish that a few great 
experiments might prove that in a socialist society life negates itself, 
cuts off its own roots. The earth is large enough and man still 
sufficiently unexhausted; hence such a practical instruction and 
demonstratio ad absurdum would not strike me as undesirable, even if it 
were gained and paid for with a tremendous expenditure of human lives. 
In any case, even as a restless mole under the soil of a society that 
wallows in stupidity, socialism will be able to be something useful and 
therapeutic: it delays "peace on earth" and the total mollification of 
the democratic herd animal; it forces the Europeans to retain spirit, 
namely cunning and cautious care, not to abjure manly and warlike 
virtues altogether, and to retain some remnant of spirit, of clarity, 
sobriety, and coldness of the spirit- it protects Europe for the time 
being from the marasmus femininus that threatens it. 

126 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The most favorable inhibitions and remedies of modernity: 

1. universal military service with real wars in which the time for 
joking is past; 

2. national bigotry (simplifies, concentrates); 

3. improved nutrition (meat); 

4. increasing cleanliness and healthf ulness of domiciles; 

5. hegemony of physiology over theology, moralism, economics, and 
politics ; 

6. military severity in the demand for and handling of 
one ' s "obligations " (one does not praise any more-) . 

127 (1884) 

I am glad about the military development of Europe; also of the internal 
states of anarchy: the time of repose and Chinese ossification, which 
Galiani predicted for this century, is over. Personal manly virtu of the 
body, is regaining value, estimation becomes more physical, nutrition 
meatier. Beautiful men are again becoming possible. Pallid hypocrisy 
(with mandarins at the top, as Comte dreamed) is over. The barbarian in 
each of us is affirmed; also the wild beast. Precisely for that reason 
philosophers have a future . --Kant is a scarecrow, some day! 

128 (1884) 

I have as yet found no reason for discouragement. Whoever has preserved, 
and bred in himself, a strong will, together with an ample spirit, has 
more favorable opportunities than ever. For the trainability of men has 
become very great in this democratic Europe; men who learn easily and 
adapt themselves easily are the rule: the herd animal, even highly 
intelligent, has been prepared. Whoever can command finds those who must 
obey: I am thinking, e. g., of Napoleon and Bismarck. The rivalry with 

strong and unintelligent wills, which is the greatest obstacle, is 
small. Who doesn't topple these "objective" gentlemen with weak wills, 
like Rancle or Renan ! 

129 (1885) 

Spiritual enlightenment is an infallible means for making men unsure, 
weaker in will, so they are more in need of company and support--in 
short, for developing the herd animal in man. Therefore all great 
artists of government so far (Confucius in China, the imperium Romanum, 
Napoleon, the papacy at the time when it took an interest in power and 
not merely in the world) , in the places where the dominant instincts 
have culminated so far, also employed spiritual enlightenment--at least 
let it have its way (like the popes of the Renaissance) . The self- 
deception of the mass concerning this point, e. g., in every democracy, 
is extremely valuable: making men smaller and more governable is desired 
as "progress " ! 

130 (1883-1888) 

The highest eguity and mildness as a state of weakening (the New 
Testament and the original Christian community--apparent as complete 
betisel in the Englishmen, Darwin and Wallace) . Your eguity, you higher 
natures, impels you toward suffrage universel, etc.; your "humanity," 
toward mildness confronted with crime and stupidity. In the long run you 
thus make stupidity and the unscrupulous victorious: comfort and 
stupidity--the mean. 

Externally: age of tremendous wars, upheavals, explosions. 

Internally: ever greater weakness of man, events as excitants. The 
Parisian as the European extreme. 

Conseguences : (1) barbarians (at first, of course, below the form of 
culture so far [e. g., Duhring] ) ; (2) sovereign individuals (where 
masses of barbarian force are crossed with a lack of all restraint 
regarding whatever has been) . Age of the greatest stupidity, brutality, 
and the masses, and of the highest individuals. 

131 (1884) 

Innumerable individuals of a higher type now perish: but whoever gets 
away is strong as the devil. Similar to the situation at the time of the 
Renaissance . 

132 (1885) 

Good Europeans that we are — what distinguishes us above the men of 
f atherlands?-First , we are atheists and immoralists, but for the present 
we support the religions and moralities of the herd instinct: for these 
prepare a type of man that must one day fall into our hands, that must 
desire our hands. 

Beyond good and evil--but we demand that herd morality should be held 
sacred unconditionally. 

We hold in reserve many types of philosophy which need to be taught: 
possibly, the pessimistic type, as a hammer; a European Buddhism might 
perhaps be indispensable. 

We probably support the development and maturing of democratic 

institutions: they enhance weakness of the will: in socialism we see a 
thorn that protects against comfortableness. 

Position toward peoples. Our preferences; we pay attention to the 
results of interbreeding. 

Apart, wealthy, strong: irony at the expense of the "press" and its 
culture. Worry lest scholars become journalistic. We feel contemptuous 
of every kind of culture that is compatible with reading, not to speak 
of writing for, newspapers. 

We take our accidental positions (like Goethe, Stendhal), our 
experiences, as foreground and stress them to deceive about our depths. 
We ourselves are waiting and beware of staking our hearts on them. They 
serve us as hostels for a night, which a wanderer needs and accepts--we 
beware of settling down. 

We are ahead of our fellow men in possessing a disciplina voluntaris. 
All strength applied to development of strength of the will, an art that 
permits us to wear masks, an art of understanding beyond the affects 
(also to think in a "supra-European" way, at times) . 

Preparation for becoming the legislators of the future, the masters of 
the earth, at least our children. Basic concern with marriages. 

133 (1885) 

The twentieth century . --Abbe Galiani once said: La prevoyance est la 
cause des guerres actuelles de l'Europe. Si 1 ' on voulait se donner la 
peine de ne rien prevoir, tout le monde serait tranguille, et je ne 
crois pas gu'on serait plus malheureux parce gu ' on ne ferait pas la 
guerre. Since I do not by any means share the unwarlike views of my 
friend Galiani, I am not afraid of predicting a few things and thus, 
possibly, of conjuring up the cause of wars. 

A tremendous stock-taking after the most terrible earth guake : with new 
guestions . 

134 (1885-1886) 

This is the time of the great noon, of the most terrible clearing up: my 
type of pessimism--great point of departure. 

I. Basic contradiction in civilization and the enhancement of man. 

II. Moral valuations as a history of lies and the art of slander in the 
service of a will to power (the herd will that rebels against the human 
beings who are stronger) . 

III. The conditions of every enhancement of culture (making possible a 
selection at the expense of a mass) are the conditions of all growth. 

IV. The multiple ambiguity of the world as a guestion of strength that 
sees all things in the perspective of its growth. Moral-Christian value 
judgments as slaves' rebellion and slaves' mendaciousness (against the 
aristocratic values of the ancient world) . How far does art reach down 
into the essence of strength? 






I. Critique of Religion 

1. Genesis of Religions 

142 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Toward a critique of the law-book of Manu.-- The whole book is founded 
on the holy lie. Was the well-being of mankind the inspiration of this 
system? Was this species of man, who believes in the interestedness of 
every action, interested or not in imposing this system? To improve 
mankind--how is this intention inspired? Where is the concept of 
improvement derived from? 

We find a species of man, the priestly, which feels itself to be the 
norm, the high point and the supreme expression of the type man: this 
species derives the concept "improvement" from itself. It believes in 
its own superiority, it wills itself to be superior in fact: the origin 
of the holy lie is the will to power-- 

Establishment of rule: to this end, the rule of those concepts that 
place a non plus ultra of power with the priesthood. Power through the 
lie--in the knowledge that one does not possess it physically, 
militarily--the lie as a supplement to power, a new concept of "truth." 

It is a mistake to suppose an unconscious and naive development here, a 
kind of self-deception-- Fanatics do not invent such carefully thought- 
out systems of oppression-- The most cold-blooded reflection was at work 
here; the same kind of reflection as a Plato applied when he imagined 
his "Republic." "He who wills the end must will the means"--all 
lawgivers have been clear in their minds regarding this politician's 
insight . 

We possess the classic model in specifically Aryan forms: we may 
therefore hold the best-endowed and most reflective species of man 
responsible for the most fundamental lie that has ever been told-- That 
lie has been copied almost everywhere: Aryan influence has corrupted all 
the world-- 

143 (March-June 1888) 

A lot is said today about the Semitic spirit of the New Testament: but 
what is called Semitic is merely priestly--and in the racially purest 
Aryan law-book, in Manu, this kind of "Semitism, " i. e., the spirit of 
the priest, is worse than anywhere else. 

The development of the Jewish priestly state is not original: they 
learned the pattern in Babylon: the pattern is Aryan. When, later on, 
the same thing became dominant in a Europe with a preponderance of 
Germanic blood, this was in accordance with the spirit of the ruling 
race: a great atavism. The Germanic Middle Ages aimed at a revival of 
the Aryan order of castes. 

Mohammedanism in turn learned from Christianity: the employment of the 
"beyond" as an instrument of punishment. 

The pattern of an unchanging community with priests at its head--this 
oldest of the great cultural products of Asia in the realm of 
organization— was bound to invite reflection and imitation in every 
respect. Again Plato: but above all the Egyptians. 

144 (1885) 

Moralities and religions are the principal means by which one can make 
whatever one wishes out of man, provided one possesses a superfluity of 
creative forces and can assert one's will over long periods of time--in 
the form of legislation, religions, and customs. 

145 (1884-1888) 

What an affirmative Aryan religion, the product of the ruling class, 
looks like: the law-book of Manu . (The deification of the feeling of 
power in Brahma: interesting that it arose among the warrior caste and 
was only transferred to the priests.) 

What an affirmative Semitic religion, the product of the ruling class, 
looks like: the law-book of Mohammed, the older parts of the Old 
Testament. (Mohammedanism, as a religion for men, is deeply contemptuous 
of the sentimentality and mendaciousness of Christianity--which it feels 
to be a woman's religion.) 

What a negative Semitic religion, the product of an oppressed class, 
looks like: the New Testament (--in Indian-Aryan terms: a chandala 
religion) . 

What a negative Aryan religion looks like, grown up among the ruling 
orders: Buddhism. 

It is guite in order that we possess no religion of oppressed Aryan 
races, for that is a contradiction: a master race is either on top or it 
is destroyed. 

151 (1885-1886) 

Religions are destroyed by belief in morality. The Christian moral God 
is not tenable: hence "atheism"--as if there could be no other kinds of 

Similarly, culture is destroyed by belief in morality. For when one 
discovers the necessary conditions out of which alone it can grow, one 
no longer wants it (Buddhism) . 

2. History of Christianity 

168 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

--The church is precisely that against which Jesus preached--and against 
which he taught his disciples to fight-- 

169 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A god who died for our sins: redemption through faith; resurrection 
after death--all these are counterfeits of true Christianity for which 

that disastrous wrong-headed fellow [Paul] must be held responsible. 

The exemplary life consists of love and humility; in a fullness of heart 
that does not exclude even the lowliest; in a formal repudiation of 
maintaining one's rights, of self-defense, of victory in the sense of 
personal triumph; in faith in blessedness here on earth, in spite of 
distress, opposition and death; in reconciliation; in the absence of 
anger; not wanting to be rewarded; not being obliged to anyone; the 
completest spiritual-intellectual independence; a very proud life 
beneath the will to a life of poverty and service. 

After the church had let itself be deprived of the entire Christian way 
of life and had guite specifically sanctioned life under the state, that 
form of life that Jesus had combatted and condemned, it had to find the 
meaning of Christianity in something else: in faith in unbelievable 
things, in the ceremonial of prayers, worship, feasts, etc. The concept 
"sin," "forgiveness," "reward" — all guite unimportant and virtually 
excluded from primitive Christianity--now comes into the foreground. 

An appalling mishmash of Greek philosophy and Judaism; asceticism; 
continual judging and condemning; order of rank, etc. 

191 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

Christians have never put into practice the acts Jesus prescribed for 
them, and the impudent chatter about "justification by faith" and its 
unigue and supreme significance is only the conseguence of the church's 
lack of courage and will to confess the works which Jesus demanded. 

The Buddhist acts differently from the non-Buddhist; the Christian acts 
as all the world does and possesses a Christianity of ceremonies and 
moods . 

The profound and contemptible mendaciousness of Christianity in 
Europe--: we really are becoming the contempt of the Arabs, Hindus, 
Chinese-- Listen to the speeches of German's first statesman on what has 
really occupied Europe for forty years now — listen to the language, the 
court-chaplain Tartuffery. 

3. Christian Ideals 

II. Critigue of Morality 

1. Origin of Moral Valuations 

2 . The Herd 

3. General Remarks on Morality 

4. How Virtue is Made to Dominate 

5. The Moral Ideal 

A. Critigue of Ideals 

338 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

What is the counterfeiting aspect of morality?-- It pretends to know 
something, namely what "good and evil" is. That means wanting to know 
why mankind is here, its goal, its destiny. That means wanting to know 
that mankind has a goal, a destiny-- 

339 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The very obscure and arbitrary idea that mankind has a single task to 
perform, that it is moving as a whole towards some goal, is still very 
young. Perhaps we shall be rid of it again before it becomes a "fixed 

This mankind is not a whole: it is an inextricable multiplicity of 
ascending and descending lif e-processes — it does not have a youth 
followed by maturity and finally by old age; the strata are twisted and 
entwined together--and in a few millennia there may still be even 
younger types of man than we can show today. Decadence, on the other 
hand, belongs to all epochs of mankind: refuse and decaying matter are 
found everywhere; it is one of life's processes to exclude the forms of 
decline and decay. 

When Christian prejudice was a power, this guestion did not exist: 
meaning lay in the salvation of the individual soul; whether mankind 
could endure for a long or a short time did not come into consideration. 
The best Christians desired that it should end as soon as possible-- 
concerning that which was needful to the individual there was no doubt-- 

The task of every present individual was the same as for a future 

individual in any kind of future: value, meaning, domain of values were 

fixed, unconditional, eternal, one with God-- That which deviated from 
this eternal type was sinful, devilish, condemned— 

For each soul, the gravitational center of valuation was placed within 
itself: salvation or damnation! The salvation of the immortal soul! 
Extremest form of personalization-- For every soul there was only one 
perfecting; only one ideal; only one way to redemption-- Extremest form 
of eguality of rights, tied to an optical magnification of one's own 
importance to the point of insanity-- Nothing but insanely important 
souls, revolving about themselves with a frightful fear — 

No man believes now in this absurd self -inflation : and we have sifted 
our wisdom through a sieve of contempt. Nevertheless, the optical habit 
of seeking the value of man in his approach to an ideal man remains 
undisturbed: fundamentally, one upholds the perspective of 
personalization as well as eguality of rights before the ideal. In 
summa: one believes one knows what the ultimate desideratum is with 
regard to the ideal man— 

This belief, however, is only the conseguence of a dreadful 
deterioration through the Christian ideal: as one at once discovers with 
every careful examination of the "ideal type." One believes one knows, 
first that an approach to one type is desirable; secondly, that one 
knows what this type is like; thirdly, that every deviation from this 
type is a regression, an inhibition, a loss of force and power in man- 
To dream of conditions in which this perfect man will be in the vast 
majority: even our socialists, even the Utilitarians have not gone 
farther than this.-- 

In this way a goal seems to have entered the development of mankind: at 
any rate, the belief in progress towards the ideal is the only form in 
which a goal in history is thought of today. In summa: one has 
transferred the arrival of the "kingdom of God" into the future, on 

earth, in human form--but fundamentally one has held fast to the belief 
in the old ideal-- 

B. Critique of the "Good Man," the Saint, etc. 

352 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The concept of power, whether of a god or of a man, always includes both 
the ability to help and the ability to harm. Thus it is with the Arabs; 
thus with the Hebrews. Thus with all strong races. 

It is a fateful step when one separates the power for the one from the 
power for the other into a dualism-- In this way, morality becomes the 
poisoner of life-- 

C. Disagreement of the So-Called Evil Qualities 

377 (1883-1888) 

Falsity . --Every sovereign instinct has the others for its tools, 
retainers, flatterers: it never lets itself be called by its ugly name: 
and it countenances no praise in which it is not also praised 
indirectly. All praise and blame in general crystallizes around every 
sovereign instinct to form a rigorous order and etiquette. This is one 
of the causes of falsity. 

Every instinct that struggles for mastery but finds itself under a yoke 
requires for itself, as strengthening and as support for its self- 
esteem, all the beautiful names and recognized values: so, as a rule, it 
ventures forth under the name of the "master" it is combatting and from 
whom it wants to get free (e. g., the fleshly desires or the desires for 
power under the dominion of Christian values) .-- This is the other cause 
of falsity. 

Perfect naivete reigns in both cases: the falsity does not become 
conscious. It is a sign of a broken instinct when man sees the driving 
force and its "expression" ("the mask") as separate things--a sign of 
self-contradiction, and victorious far less often. Absolute innocence in 
bearing, word, affect, a "good conscience" in falsity, the certainty 
with which one grasps the greatest and most splendid words and 
postures--all this is necessary for victory. 

In the other case: when one has extreme clear-sightedness one needs the 
genius of the actor and tremendous training in self-control if one is to 
achieve victory. That is why priests are the most skillful conscious 
hypocrites; then princes, whom rank and ancestry have endowed with a 
kind of acting ability. Thirdly, men of society, diplomats. Fourthly, 
women . 

Basic idea: falsity seems so profound, so omnisided, the will so clearly 
opposed to direct self-knowledge and the calling of things by their 
right names, that it is very highly probable that truth, will to truth 
is really something else and only a disguise. (The need for faith is the 
greatest brake-shoe on truthfulness.) 

380 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

1. Systematic falsification of history; so that it may provide the proof 
of moral valuation: 

a. decline of a people and corruption; b. rise of a people and virtue; 

c. zenith of a people ("its culture") as a consequence of moral 
elevation . 

2. Systematic falsification of great human beings, the great creators, 
the great epochs : 

one desires that faith should be the distinguishing mark of the great: 
but slackness, skepticism, "immorality," the right to throw off a faith, 
belong to greatness (Caesar, also Homer, Aristophanes, Leonardo, 
Goethe) . One always suppresses the main thing, their "freedom of will"-- 

382 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Schopenhauer interpreted high intellectuality as liberation from the 
will; he did not want to see the freedom from moral prejudice which is 
part of the emancipation of the great spirit, the typical immorality of 
the genius; he artfully posited the only thing he held in honor, the 
moral value of "depersonalization," as the condition of spiritual 
activity, of "objective" viewing. "Truth," even in art, appears after 
the withdrawal of the will-- 

I see a fundamentally different valuation cutting across all the moral 
idiosyncrasies: I know nothing of such an absurd distinction between 
"genius" and the moral and immoral world of the will. The moral man is a 
lower species than the immoral, a weaker species; indeed--he is a type 
in regard to morality, but not a type in himself; a copy, a good copy at 
best--the measure of his value lies outside him. I assess a man by the 
quantum of power and abundance of his will: not by its enfeeblement and 
extinction; I regard a philosophy which teaches denial of the will as a 
teaching of defamation and slander-- I assess the power of a will by how 
much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its 
advantage; I do not account the evil and painful character of existence 
a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will one day be more evil and 
painful than hitherto-- 

The high point of the spirit imagined by Schopenhauer was to attain to 
the recognition that there is no meaning in anything, in short, to 
recognize what the good man already instinctively does-- He denies the 
possibility of a higher kind of intellect--he took his insight for a non 
plus ultra. Here spirituality is placed much lower than goodness; its 
highest value (e. g., as art) would be to urge and prepare moral 
conversion: absolute domination of moral values. -- 

Beside Schopenhauer I would characterize Kant: nothing Greek, absolutely 
antihistorical (his passage on the French Revolution) and a moral 
fanatic (Goethe's passage on radical evil) . Saintliness was in the 
background in his case, too. 

I need a critique of the saint-- 

Hegel's value. "Passion. " — 

Shopkeeper's philosophy of Mr. Spencer; complete absence of an ideal, 
except that of the mediocre man. 

Fundamental instinctive principle of all philosophers and historians and 
psychologists: everything of value in man, art, history, science, 
religion, technology must be proved to be of moral value, morally 
conditioned, in aim, means and outcome. Everything understood in the 
light of the supreme value: e. g., Rousseau's question concerning 
civilization: "Does man become better through it?"--an amusing question, 

since the reverse is obvious and is precisely that which speaks in favor 
of civilization. 

383 (March-June 1888) 

Religious morality.-- Affect, great desire, the passion for power, love, 
revenge, possessions--: moralists want to extinguish and uproot them, to 
"purify" the soul of them. 

The logic is: the desires often produce great misfortune — consequently 
they are evil, reprehensible. A man must free himself from them: 
otherwise he cannot be a good man— 

This is the same logic as: "if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.: In 
the particular case in which that dangerous "innocent from the 
country, " the founder of Christianity, recommended this practice to his 
disciples, the case of sexual excitation, the consequence is, 
unfortunately, not only the loss of an organ but the emasculation of a 
man's character-- And the same applies to the moralist's madness that 
demands, instead of the restraining of the passions, their extirpation. 
Its conclusion is always: only the castrated man is a good man. 

Instead of taking into service the great sources of strength, those 
impetuous torrents of the soul that are so often dangerous and 
overwhelming, and economizing them, this most shortsighted and 
pernicious mode of thought, the moral mode of thought, wants to make 
them dry up. 

384 (1885-1886) 

Overcoming of the affects?-- No, if what is implied is their weakening 
and extirpation. But putting them into service: which may also mean 
subjecting them to a protracted tyranny (not only as an individual, but 
as a community, race, etc.) . At last they are confidently granted 
freedom again: they love us as good servants and go voluntarily wherever 
our best interests lie. 

385 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Moral intolerance is an expression of weakness in a man: he is afraid of 
his own "immorality," he must deny his strongest drives because he does 
not yet know how to employ them. Thus the most fruitful regions of the 
earth remain uncultivated the longest:-- the force is lacking that could 
here become master— 

386 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

There are very naive people and men who believe that continual fine 
weather is something desirable: even today they believe, in rebus 
moralibus, [Moral matters.] that the "good man," and nothing but the 
"good man, " is something desirable--and that the course of human 
evolution is directed toward the survival of the "good man" only (and 
that one must bend all one's efforts in that direction--) . This is in 
the highest degree an uneconomic thought and, as stated, the acme of 
naivete, nothing but the expression of the pleasing effect produced by 
the "good man" (he arouses no fear, he permits one to relax, he gives 
what one is able to take) . 

From a superior viewpoint one desires the contrary: the ever-increasing 
dominion of evil, the growing emancipation of man from the narrow and 
fear-ridden bonds of morality, the increase of force, in order to press 

the mightiest natural powers — the af f ects--into service. 

387 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The whole conception of an order of rank among the passions: as if the 
right and normal thing were for one to be guided by reason — with the 
passions as abnormal, dangerous, semi-animal, and, moreover, so far as 
their aim is concerned, nothing other than desires for pleasure- 
Passion is degraded (1) as if it were only in unseemly cases, and not 
necessarily and always, the motive force; (2) in as much as it has for 
its object something of no great value, amusement-- 

The misunderstanding of passion and reason, as if the latter were an 
independent entity and not rather a system of relations between various 
passions and desires; and as if every passion did not possess its 
quantum of reason— 

388 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

How, under the impress of the ascetic morality of depersonalization, it 
was precisely the affects of love, goodness, pity, even those of 
justice, magnanimity, heroism, that were necessarily misunderstood: 

It is richness in personality, abundance in oneself, overflowing and 
bestowing, instinctive good health and affirmation of oneself, that 
produce great sacrifice and great love: it is strong and godlike 
selfhood from which these affects grow, just as surely as did the desire 
to become master, encroachment, the inner certainty of having a right to 
everything. What according to common ideas are opposite dispositions are 
rather one disposition; and if one is not firm and brave within oneself, 
one has nothing to bestow and cannot stretch our one's hand to protect 
and support-- 

How was one able so to transform these instincts that man thought 
valuable that which was directed against his self? when he sacrificed 
his self to another self. Oh the psychological wretchedness and 
mendaciousness that has hitherto laid down the law in the church and in 
church-infected philosophy! 

If man is sinful through and through, then he ought only to hate 
himself. Fundamentally, he would have to treat his fellow men on the 
same basis as he treats himself; charity needs to be justif ied--its 
justification lies in the fact that God has commanded it.-- It follows 
from this, that all the natural instincts of man (the instinct of love, 
etc.) appear to be forbidden in themselves and only after they have been 
denied are they restored to their rights on the basis of obedience to 
God--Pascal, the admirable logician of Christianity, went so far! 
consider his relations to his sister. "Not to make oneself love" seemed 
Christian to him. 

D. Critique of the Words: Improvement, Perfecting, Elevation 

398 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

What I want to make clear by all the means in my power: 

a. that there is no worse confusion than the confusion of breeding with 
taming: which is what has been done-- Breeding, as I understand it, is a 
means of storing up the tremendous forces of mankind so that the 
generations can build upon the work of their f oref athers--not only 

outwardly, but inwardly, organically growing out of them and becoming 
something stronger-- 

b. that it is extraordinarily dangerous to believe that mankind as a 
whole will progress and grow stronger if individuals become flabby, 
egual, average-- Mankind is an abstraction: the goal of breeding, even 
in the case of a single individual, can only be the stronger man (--the 
man without breeding is weak, extravagant, unstable--) . 

6. Further Considerations for a Critigue of Morality 

III. Critigue of Philosophy 

1. General Observations 

410 (1885-1886) For the Preface 

Deeply mistrustful of the dogmas of epistemology, I loved to look now 
out of this window, now out of that; I guarded against settling down 
with any of these dogmas, considered them harmful--and finally: is it 
likely that a tool is able to criticize its own fitness?-- What I 
noticed was rather that no epistemological skepticism or dogmatism had 
ever arisen free from ulterior motives--that it acguires a value of the 
second rank as soon as one has considered what it was that compelled the 
adoption of this point of view. 

Fundamental insight: Kant as well as Hegel and Schopenhauer--the 
skeptical-epochistic attitude as will as the historicizing, as well as 
the pessimistic--have a moral origin. I saw no one who had ventured a 
critigue of moral value feelings: and I soon turned my back one the 
meager attempts made to arrive at a description of the origin of these 
feelings (as by the English and German Darwinists) . 

How can Spinoza's position, his denial and rejection of moral value 
judgments, be explained? (It was one conseguence of his theodicy!) 

413 (1885) 

Ulterior moral motives have hitherto most obstructed the course of 
philosophy . 

423 (March-June 1888) 

Theory and practice.-- Fateful distinction, as if there were an actual 
drive for knowledge that, without regard to guestions of usefulness and 
harm, went blindly for the truth; and then, separate from this, the 
whole world of practical interests-- 

I tried to show, on the other hand, what instincts have been active 
behind all these pure theoreticians--how they have all, under the spell 
of their instincts, gone fatalistically for something that was "truth" 
for them--for them and only for them. The conflict between different 
systems, including that between epistemological scruples, is a conflict 
between guite definite instincts (forms of vitality, decline, classes, 
races, etc . ) . 

The so-called drive for knowledge can be traced back to a drive to 
appropriate and conguer: the senses, the memory, the instincts, etc. 
have developed as a conseguence of this drive. The guickest possible 
reduction of the phenomena, economy, the accumulation of the spoils of 
knowledge (i. e., of world appropriated and made manageable)-- 

Morality is such a curious science because it is in the highest degree 
practical: so that the position of pure knowledge, scientific integrity, 
is at once abandoned as soon as the claims of morality must be answered. 
Morality says: I need many answers—reasons, arguments; scruples can 
come afterward, or not at all--. 

"How should one act?"-- If one considers that one is dealing with a 
sovereignly developed type that has "acted" for countless millennia, and 
in which everything has become instinct, expediency, automatism, 
fatality, then the urgency of this moral guestion must actually seem 
ridiculous . 

"How should one act?"-- Morality has always been a misunderstanding: in 
reality, a species fated to act in this or that fashion wanted to 
justify itself, by dictating its norm as the universal norm— 

"How should one act?" is not a cause but an effect. Morality follows, 
the ideal comes at the end. 

--On the other hand, the appearance of moral scruples (in other words: 
the becoming-conscious of the values by which one acts) betrays a 
certain sickliness; strong ages and peoples do not reflect on their 
rights, on the principles on which they act, on their instincts and 
reasons. Becoming-conscious is a sign that real morality, i. e., 
instinctive certainty in actions, is going to the devil-- Every time a 
new world of consciousness is created, the moralists are a sign of 
damage, impoverishment, disorganization.-- The deeply instinctive are 
shy of logicizing duties: among them are found Pyrrhic opponents of 
dialectics and of knowability in general-- A virtue is refuted with a 
"for" — 

Thesis: the appearance of moralists belongs to an age in which morality 
is coming to an end. 

Thesis: the moralist disintegrates the moral instincts, however much he 
may suppose himself to be their restorer. 

Thesis: that which really drives the moralist is not the moral instincts 
but the instincts of decadence translated into the formulas of 
morality-- (he regards it as corruption when the instincts become 
uncertain) . 

Thesis: the instincts of decadence, which, through the moralists, want 
to become master over the instinctive morality of strong races and ages, 

1. the instincts of the weak and underprivileged; 

2. the instincts of the exceptions, the solitaries, the abandoned, of 
the abortus [Abortion.] in what is lofty and what is petty. 

3. the instincts of those habituated to suffering, who need a noble 
interpretation of their condition and therefore must know as little as 
possible about physiology. 

2. Critigue of Greek Philosophy 

428 (March-June 1888) 

How far psychologists have been corrupted by the moral idiosyncrasy : -- 
not one of the ancient philosophers had the courage for a theory of the 
"unfree will" (i. e., for a theory that denies morality ); --no one had 

the courage to define the typical element in pleasure, every sort of 
pleasure ("happiness") as the feeling of power: for to take pleasure in 
power was considered immoral ; --no one had the courage to conceive virtue 
as a conseguence of immorality (of a will to power) in the service of 
the species (or of the race or polis), for the will to power was 
considered immorality. 

In the entire evolution of morality, truth never appears: all the 
conceptual elements employed are fictions; all the psychologica accepted 
are falsifications; all the forms of logic dragged into this realm of 
lies are sophistries. What distinguishes moral philosophers themselves 
is a complete absence of cleanliness and intellectual self-discipline: 
they take "beautiful feelings" for arguments: they regard their "heaving 
bosom" as the bellows of divinity-- Moral philosophy is the scabrous 
period in the history of the spirit. 

The first great example: in the name of morality, under the patronage of 
morality, an unheard-of wrong was perpetrated, in fact a piece of 
decadence in every respect. One cannot insist too strongly upon the fact 
that the great Greek philosophers represent the decadence of every kind 
of Greek excellence and make it contagious-- "Virtue" made completely 
abstract was the greatest seduction to make oneself abstract: i. e., to 
detach oneself. 

It is a very remarkable moment: the Sophists verge upon the first 
critigue of morality, the first insight into morality : --they juxtapose 
the multiplicity (the geographical relativity) of the moral value 
judgments ; --they let it be known that every morality can be 
dialectically justified; i. e., they divine that all attempts to give 
reasons for morality are necessarily sophistical--a proposition later 
proved on the grand scale by the ancient philosophers, from Plato 
onwards (down to Kant ); --they postulate the first truth that a 
"morality-in-itself , " a "good-in-itself " do not exist, that it is a 
swindle to talk of "truth" in this field. 

Where was intellectual integrity in those days? 

The Greek culture of the Sophists had developed out of all the Greek 
instincts; it belongs to the culture of the Periclean age as necessarily 
as Plato does not: it has its predecessors in Heraclitus, in Democritus, 
in the scientific types of the old philosophy; it finds expression in, 
e. g., the high culture of Thucydides. And--it has ultimately shown 
itself to be right: every advance in epistemological and moral knowledge 
has reinstated the Sophists-- Our contemporary way of thinking is to a 
great extent Heraclitean, Democritean, and Protagorean: it suffices to 
say Protagorean, because Protagoras represented a synthesis of 
Heraclitus and Democritus. 

(Plato: a great Cagliostro--remember how Epicurus judged him; how Timon, 
the friend of Pyrrho, judged him-— Is Plato's integrity beyond 
guestion?-- But we know at least that he wanted to have taught as 
absolute truth what he himself did not regard as even conditionally 
true: namely, the separate existence and separate immortality of 

430 (March-June 1888) 

The great rationality of all education in morality has always been that 
one tried to attain to the certainty of an instinct: so that neither 
good intentions nor good means had to enter consciousness as such. As 
the soldier exercises, so should man learn to act. In fact, this 

unconsciousness belongs to any kind of perfection: even the 
mathematician employs his combinations unconsciously-- 

What, then, is the significance of the reaction of Socrates, who 
recommended dialectics as the road to virtue and made mock when morality 
did not know how to justify itself logically?-- As if this were not part 
of its value--without consciousness it is no good-- 

Positing proofs as the presupposition for personal excellence in virtue 
signified nothing less than the disintegration of Greek instincts. They 
are themselves types of disintegration, all these great "virtuous men" 
and word-spinners. 

In praxi, this means that moral judgments are torn from their 
conditionality, in which they have grown and alone possess any meaning, 
from their Greek and Greek-political ground and soil, to be 
denaturalized under the pretense of sublimation. The great concepts 
"good" and "just" are severed from the presuppositions to which they 
belong and, as liberated "ideas," become objects of dialectic. One looks 
for truth in them, one takes them for entities or signs of entities: one 
invents a world where they are at home, where they originate-- 

In summa: the mischief has already reached its climax in Plato-- And 
then one had need to invent the abstractly perfect man as well: --good, 
just, wise, a dialectician--in short, the scarecrow of the ancient 
philosopher: a plant removed from all soil; a humanity without any 
particular regulating instincts; a virtue that "proves" itself with 
reasons. The perfectly absurd "individuum" in itself! unnaturalness of 
the first water-- 

In short, the conseguence of the denaturalization of moral values was 
the creation of a degenerate type of man — "the good man," "the happy 
man," "the wise man."-- Socrates represents a moment of the profoundest 
perversity in the history of values. 

440 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

When morality--that is to say subtlety, caution, bravery, eguity--has 
been as it were stored up through the practice of a whole succession of 
generations, then the total force of this accumulated virtue radiates 
even into that sphere where integrity is most seldom found, into the 
spiritual sphere. In all becoming-conscious there is expressed a 
discomfiture of the organism; it has to try something new, nothing is 
sufficiently adapted for it, there is toil, tension, strain--all this 
constitutes becoming-conscious — 

Genius resides in instinct; goodness likewise. One acts perfectly only 
when one acts instinctively. Even from the viewpoint of morality, all 
conscious thinking is merely tentative, usually the reverse of morality. 
Scientific integrity is always ruptured when the thinker begins to 
reason: try the experiment of putting the wisest men on the most 
delicate scales by making them talk about morality-- 

It could be proved that all conscious thinking would also show a far 
lower standard of morality than the thinking of the same man when it is 
directed by his instincts. 

3. Truth and Error of Philosophers 

456 (March-June 1888) 

A certain degree of faith serves us today as an objection to what is 
believed--even more as a question mark against the spiritual health of 
the believer. 

4. Further Considerations for a Critique of Philosophy 

462 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Fundamental innovations: In place of "moral values," purely naturalistic 
values. Naturalization of morality. 

In place of "sociology," a theory of the forms of domination. 

In place of "society," the culture complex, as my chief interest (as a 
whole or in its parts) . 

In place of "epistemology, " a perspective theory of affects (to which 
belongs a hierarchy of the affects; the affects transfigured; their 
superior order, their "spirituality"). 

In place of "metaphysics," and religion, the theory of eternal 
recurrence (this as a means of breeding and selection) . 







1 . Method of Inquiry 

466 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

It is not the victory of science that distinguishes our nineteenth 
century, but the victory of scientific method over science. 

467 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

History of scientific method, considered by Auguste Comte as virtually 
philosophy itself. 

468 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The great methodologists : Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Auguste 

469 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The most valuable insights are arrived at last; but the most valuable 
insights are methods. 

All the methods, all the presuppositions of our contemporary science 
were for millennia regarded with the profoundest contempt; on their 

account one was excluded from the society of respectable people--one was 
considered as an "enemy of God," as a reviler of the highest ideal, as 
"possessed. " 

We have had the whole pathos of mankind against us--our conception of 
what "truth" should be, what service of truth should be, our 
objectivity, our method, our silent, cautious, mistrustful ways were 
considered perfectly contemptible-- 

At bottom, it has been an aesthetic taste that has hindered mankind 
most: it believed in the picturesgue effect of truth, it demanded of the 
man of knowledge that he should produce a powerful effect on the 
imagination . 

This looks as if an antithesis has been achieved, a leap made; in 
reality, the schooling through moral hyperbole prepared the way step by 
step for that milder of pathos that became incarnate in the scientific 
character — 

The conscientiousness in small things, the self-control of the religious 
man were a preparatory school for the scientific character: above all, 
the disposition that takes problems seriously, regardless of the 
personal conseguences-- 

2. The Epistemological Starting Point 

470 (1885-1886) 

Profound aversion to reposing once and for all in any one total view of 
the world. Fascination of the opposing point of view: refusal to be 
deprived of the stimulus of the enigmatic. 

471 (1885-1886) 

The presupposition that things are, at bottom, ordered so morally that 
human reason must be justif ied--is an ingenuous presupposition and a 
piece of naivete, the after-effect of belief in God's veracity--God 
understood as the creator of things . --These concepts an inheritance from 
a former existence in a beyond 

472 (1883-1888) 

Contradiction of the alleged "facts of consciousness." Observation is a 
thousand times more difficult, error perhaps a condition of observation 
in general . 

473 (1886-1887) 

The intellect cannot criticize itself, simply because it cannot be 
compared with other species of intellect and because its capacity to 
know would be revealed only in the presence of "true reality," i. e., 
because in order to criticize the intellect we should have to be a 
higher being with "absolute knowledge." This presupposes that, distinct 
from every perspective kind of outlook or sensual-spiritual 
appropriation, something exists, an " in-itself . "--But the psychological 
derivation of the belief in things forbids us to speak of " things-in- 
themselves . " 

474 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

That a sort of adeguate relationship subsists between subject and 

object, that the object is something that if seen from within would be a 
subject, is a well-meant invention which, I think, has had its day. The 
measure of that of which we are in any way conscious is totally 
dependent upon the coarse utility of its becoming-conscious: how could 
this nook-perspective of consciousness permit us to assert anything of 
"subject" and "object" that touched reality!-- 

475 (1885-1886) 

Critigue of modern philosophy: erroneous starting point, as if there 
existed "facts of consciousness"--and no phenomenalism in introspection. 

476 (1884) 

"Consciousness "--to what extent the idea of an idea, the idea of will, 
the idea of a feeling (known to ourselves alone) are totally 
superficial! Our inner world, too, "appearance"! 

477 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

I maintain the phenomenality of the inner world, too: everything of 
which we become conscious is arranged, simplified, schematized, 
interpreted through and through--the actual process of inner 
"perception," the causal connection between thoughts, feelings, desires, 
between subject and object, are absolutely hidden from us--and are 
perhaps purely imaginary. The "apparent inner world" is governed by just 
the same forms and procedures as the "outer" world. We never encounter 
"facts": pleasure and displeasure are subseguent and derivative 
intellectual phenomena-- 

"Causality" eludes us; to suppose a direct causal link beween thoughts, 
as logic does--that is the conseguence of the crudest and clumsiest 
observation. Between two thoughts all kinds of affects play their game: 
but their motions are too fast, therefore we fail to recognize them, we 
deny them-- 

"Thinking, " as epistemologists conceive it, simply does not occur: it is 
a guite arbitrary fiction, arrived at by selecting one element from the 
process and eliminating all the rest, an artificial arrangement for the 
purpose of intelligibility-- 

The "spirit," something that thinks: where possible even "absolute, pure 
spirit "--this conception is a second derivative of that false 
introspection which believes in "thinking" : first an act is imagined 
which simply does not occur, "thinking, " and secondly a subject- 
substratum in which every act of thinking, and nothing else, has its 
origin: that is to say, both the deed and the doer are fictions. 

478 (March-June 1888) 

One must not look for phenomenalism in the wrong place: nothing is more 
phenomenal (or, more clearly:) nothing is so much deception as this 
inner world which we observe with the famous "inner sense." 

We have believed in the will as cause to such an extent that we have 
from our personal experience introduced a cause into events in general 
(i. e., intention a cause of events--) . 

We believe that thoughts as they succeed one another in our minds stand 
in some kind of causal relation: the logician especially, who actually 
speaks of nothing but instances which never occur in reality, has grown 

accustomed to the prejudice that thoughts cause thoughts--. 

We believe--and even our philosopers still believe--that pleasure and 
pain are causes of reactions, that the purpose of pleasure and pain is 
to occasion reactions. For millennia, pleasure and the avoidance of 
displeasure have been flatly asserted as the motives for every action. 
Upon reflection, however, we should concede that everything would have 
taken the same course, according to exactly the same seguence of causes 
and effects, if these states of "pleasure and displeasure" had been 
absent, and that one is simply deceiving oneself if one thinks they 
cause anything at all: they are epiphenomena with a guite different 
object than to evoke reactions; they are themselves effects within the 
instituted process of reaction. 

In summa: everything of which we become conscious is a terminal 
phenomenon, an end--and causes nothing; every successive phenomenon in 
consciousness is completely atomistic--And we have sought to understand 
the world through the reverse conception — as if nothing were real and 
effective but thinking, feeling, willing! -- 

479 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The phenomenalism of the "inner world." Chronological inversion, so that 
the cause enters consciousness later than the effect. --We have learned 
that pain is projected to a part of the body without being situated 
there--we have learned that sense impressions naively supposed to be 
conditioned by the outer world are, on the contrary, conditioned by the 
inner world; that we are always unconscious of the real activity of the 
outer world--The fragment of outer world of which we are conscious is 
born after an effect from outside has impressed itself upon us, and is 
subseguently projected as its "cause" — 

In the phenomenalism of the "inner world" we invert the chronological 
order of cause and effect. The fundamental fact of "inner experience" is 
that the cause is imagined after the effect has taken place--The same 
applies to the succession of thoughts: --we seek the reason for a 
thought before we are conscious of it; and the reason enters 
consciousness first, and then its consequence—Our entire dream life is 
the interpretation of complex feelings with a view to possible causes— 
and in such way that we are conscious of a condition only when the 
supposed causal chain associated with it has entered consciousness. 

The whole of "inner experience" rests upon the fact that a cause for an 
excitement of the nerve centers is sought and imagined --and that only a 
cause thus discovered enters consciousness: this cause in no way 
corresponds to the real cause--it is a groping on the basis of previous 
"inner experiences," i. e., of memory. But memory also maintains the 
habit of the old interpretations, i. e., of erroneous causality--so that 
the "inner experience" has to contain within it the conseguences of all 
previous false causal fictions. Our "outer world" as we project it every 
moment is indissolubly tied to the old error of the ground: we interpret 
it by means of the schematism of "things," etc. 

"Inner experience" enters our consciousness only after it has found a 
language the individual understands--!, e., a translation of a condition 
into conditions familiar to him--; "to understand" means merely: to be 
able to express something new in the language of something old and 
familiar. E. g., "I feel unwell"--such a judgment presupposes a great 
and late neutrality of the observer--; the simple man always says: this 
or that makes me feel unwell --he makes up his mind about his feeling 
unwell only when he has seen a reason for feeling unwell.--! call that a 

lack of philology; to be able to read off a text as a text without 
interposing an interpretation is the last-developed form of "inner 
experience"-- perhaps one that is hardly possible-- 

480 (March-June 1888) 

There exists neither "spirit," nor reason, nor thinking, nor 
consciousness, nor soul, nor will, nor truth: all are fictions that are 
of no use. There is no guestion of "subject and object," but of a 
particular species of animal that can prosper only through a certain 
relative rightness; above all, regularity of its perceptions (so that it 
can accumulate experience) -- 

Knowledge works as a tool of power. Hence it is plain that it increases 
with every increase of power-- 

The meaning of "knowledge": here, as in the case of "good" or 
"beautiful", the concept is to be regarded in a strict and narrow 
anthropocentric and biological sense. In order for a particular species 
to maintain itself and increase its power, its conception of reality 
must comprehend enough of the calculable and constant for it to base a 
scheme of behavior on it. The utility of preservation --not some 
abstract-theoretical need not to be deceived--stands as the motive 
behind the development of the organs of knowledge--they develop in such 
a way that their observations suffice for our preservation. In other 
words: the measure of the desire for knowledge depends upon the measure 
to which the will to power grows in a species: a species grasps a 
certain amount of reality in order to become master of it, in order to 
press it into service. 

3. Belief in the "Ego." The Subject 

481 (1883-1888) 

Against positivism, which halts at phenomena--"There are only facts"--I 
would say: No, facts is precisely what there is not, only 

interpretations. We cannot establish any fact "in itself": perhaps it is 
folly to want to do such a thing. 

"Everything is subjective," you say; but even this is interpretation. 
The "subject" is not something given, it is something added and invented 
and projected behind what there is . --Finally, is it necessary to posit 
an interpreter behind the interpretation? Even this is invention, 
hypothesis . 

In so far as the word "knowledge" has any meaning, the world is 
knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind 
it, but countless meanings . --"Perspectivism. " 

It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives and their For and 
Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its 
perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept 
as a norm. 

482 (1886-1887) 

We set up a word at the point at which our ignorance begins, at which we 
can see no further, e. g., the word "I," the word "do," the word 
" suffer ": --these are perhaps the horizon of our knowledge, but not 
"truths . " 

483 (1885) 

Through thought the ego is posited; but hitherto one believed as 
ordinary people do, that in "I think" there was something of immediate 
certainty, and that this "I" was the given cause of thought, from which 
by analogy we understood all other causal relationships. However 
habitual and indispensable this fiction may have become by now--that in 
itself proves nothing against its imaginary origin: a belief can be a 
condition of life and nonetheless be false. 

484 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

"There is thinking: therefore there is something that thinks": this is 
the upshot of all Descartes' argumentation. But that means positing as 
"true a priori" our belief in the concept of substance-- that when there 
is thought there has to be something "that thinks" is simply a 
formulation of our grammatical custom that adds a doer to every deed. In 
short, this is not merely the substantiation of a fact but a logical- 
metaphysical postulate--Along the lines followed by Descartes one does 
not come upon something absolutely certain but only upon the fact of a 
very strong belief. 

If one reduces the proposition to "There is thinking, therefore there 
are thoughts," one has produced a mere tautology: and precisely that 
which is in guestion, the "reality of thought," is not touched upon— 
that is, in this form the "apparent reality" of thought cannot be 
denied. But what Descartes desired was that thought should have, not an 
apparent reality, but a reality in itself. 

485 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The concept of substance is a conseguence of the concept of the subject: 
not the reverse! If we relinguish the soul, "the subject," the 
precondition for "substance" in general disappears. One acguires degrees 
of being, one loses that which has being. 

Critigue of "reality": where does the "more or less real," the gradation 
of being in which we believe, lead to?-- 

The degree to which we feel life and power (logic and coherence of 
experience) gives us our measure of "being", "reality", not appearance. 

The subject: this is the term for our belief in a unity underlying all 
the different impulses of the highest feeling of reality: we understand 
this belief as the effect of one cause--we believe so firmly in our 
belief that for its sake we imagine "truth", "reality", substantiality 
in general.-- "The subject" is the fiction that many similar states in 
us are the effect of one substratum: but it is we who first created the 
"similarity" of these states; our adjusting them and making them similar 
is the fact, not their similarity (--which ought rather to be denied--) . 

486 (1885-1886) 

One would have to know what being is, in order to decide whether this or 
that is real (e. g., "the facts of consciousness"); in the same way, 
what certainty is, what knowledge is, and the like.-- But since we do 
not know this, a critigue of the faculty of knowledge is senseless: how 
should a tool be able to criticize itself when it can use only itself 
for the critigue? It cannot even define itself! 

487 (1883-1886) 

Must all philosophy not ultimately bring to light the preconditions upon 
which the process of reason depends?--our belief in the "ego" as a 
substance, as the sole reality from which we ascribe reality to things 
in general? The oldest "realism" at last comes to light: at the same 
time that the entire religious history of mankind is recognized as the 
history of the soul superstition. Here we come to a limit: our thinking 
itself involves this belief (with its distinction of substance, 
accident; deed, doer, etc.); to let it go means: being no longer able to 
think . 

But that a belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a 
species, has nothing to do with truth, one knows from the fact that, e. 
g., we have to believe in time, space, and motion, without feeling 
compelled to grant them absolute reality. 

488 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Psychological derivation of our belief in reason. --The concept 
"reality", "being", is taken from our feeling of the "subject". 

"The subject": interpreted from within ourselves, so that the ego counts 
as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer. 

The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, accident, 
attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our habit of 
regarding all our deeds as conseguences of our will--so that the ego, as 
substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of change. --But there is 
no such thing as will.-- 

We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a "world in 
itself" from a "world of appearance." All our categories of reason are 
of sensual origin: derived from the empirical world. "The soul", "the 
ego"--the history of these concepts shows that here, too, the oldest 
distinction ("breath", "life")-- 

If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. The 
concept no longer contains anything. 

No subject "atoms". The sphere of a subject constantly growing or 
decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where 
it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On 
the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject into its functionary 
without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. 
No "substance", rather something that in itself strives after greater 
strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants 
to surpass itself--) . 

489 (1886-1887) 

Everyting that enters consciousness as "unity" is already tremendously 
complex: we always have only a semblance of Unity. 

The phenomenon of the body is the richer, clearer, more tangible 
phenomenon: to be discussed first, methodologically, without coming to 
any decision about its ultimate significance. 

490 (1885) 

The assumption of one single subject is perhaps unnecessary; perhaps it 
is just as permissible to assume a multiplicity of subjects, whose 

interaction and struggle is the basis of our thought and our 
consciousness in general? A kind of aristocracy of "cells" in which 
dominion resides? To be sure, an aristocracy of eguals, used to ruling 
jointly and understanding how to command? 

My hypotheses: The subject as multiplicity 

Pain intellectual and dependent upon the judgment "harmful": projected. 

The effect always "unconscious": the inferred and imagined cause is 
projected, follows in time. 

Pleasure is a kind of pain. 

The only force that exists is of the same kind as that of the will: a 
commanding of other subjects, which thereupon change. 

The continual transitoriness and fleetingness of the subject. "Mortal 
soul . " 

Number as perspective form. 

491 (1885-1886) 

Belief in the body is more fundamental than belief in the soul: the 
latter arose from unscientific reflection on the agonies of the body 
(something that leaves it. Belief in the truth of dreams--) . 

492 (1885) 

The body and physiology the starting point: why?--We gain the correct 
idea of the nature of our subject-unity, namely as regents at the head 
of a communality (not as "souls" or "life forces"), also of the 
dependence of these regents upon the ruled and of an order of rank and 
division of labor as the conditions that make possible the whole and its 
parts. In the same way, how living unities continually arise and die and 
how the "subject" is not eternal; in the same way, that the struggle 
expresses itself in obeying and commanding, and that a fluctuating 
assessment of the limits of power is part of life. The relative 
ignorance in which the regent is kept concerning individual activities 
and even disturbances within the communality is among the conditions 
under which rule can be exercised. In short, we also gain a valuation of 
not-knowing, of seeing things on a broad scale, of simplification and 
falsification, of perspectivity . The most important thing, however, is: 
that we understand that the ruler and his subjects are of the same kind, 
all feeling, willing, thinking--and that, wherever we see or divine 
movement in a body, we learn to conclude that there is a subjective, 
invisible life appertaining to it. Movement is symbolism for the eye; it 
indicates that something has been felt, willed, thought. 

The danger of the direct guestioning of the subject about the subject 
and of all self-reflection of the spirit lies in this, that it could be 
useful and important for one's activity to interpret oneself falsely. 
That is why we guestion the body and reject the evidence of the 
sharpened senses: we try, if you like, to see whether the inferior parts 
themselves cannot enter into communication with us. 

4. Biology of the Drive to Knowledge. 


493 (1885) 

Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could 
not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive. 

494 (1885) 

It is improbable that our "knowledge" should extend further than is 
strictly necessary for the preservation of life. Morphology shows us how 
the senses and the nerves, as well as the brain, develop in proportion 
to the difficulty of finding nourishment. 


If the morality of "thou shalt not lie" is rejected, the "sense for 
truth" will have to legitimize itself before another tribunal:-- as a 
means of the preservation of man, as will to power. 

Likewise our love of the beautiful: it also is our shaping will. The two 
senses stand side-by-side; the sense for the real is the means of 
acguiring the power to shape things according to our wish. The joy in 
shaping and reshaping--a primeval joy! We can comprehend only a world 
that we ourselves have made. 

496 (1884) 

Of the multifariousness of knowledge. To trace one's own relationship to 
many other things (or the relationship of kind)-- how should that be 
"knowledge" of other things! The way of knowing and of knowledge is 
itself already part of the conditions of existence: so that the 
conclusion that there could be no other kind of intellect (for us) than 
that which preserves us is precipitate: this actual condition of 
existence is perhaps only accidental and perhaps in no way necessary. 

Our apparatus for acguiring knowledge is not designed for "knowledge." 

497 (1884) 

The most strongly believed a priori "truths" are for me provisional 
assumptions; e. g., the law of causality, a very well acguired habit of 
belief, so much a part of us that not to believe in it would destroy the 
race. But are they for that reason truths? What a conclusion! As if the 
preservation of man were a proof of truth! 

498 (1884) 

To what extent even our intellect is a conseguence of conditions of 
existence--: we would not have it if we did not need to have it, and we 
would not have it as it is if we did not need to have it as it is, if we 
could live otherwise. 

499 (1885) 

"Thinking" in primitive conditions (pre-organic ) is the crystallization 
of forms, as in the case of crystal. --In our thought, the essential 
feature is fitting new material into old schemes (= Procrustes' bed), 
making egual what is new. 

500 (1885-1886) 

Sense perceptions projected "outside": "inside" and "outside"--does the 

body command here--? 

The same equalizing and ordering force that rules in the idioplasma, 
rules also in the incorporation of the outer world: our sense 
perceptions are already the result of this assimiliation and 
equalization in regard to all the past in us; they do not follow 
directly upon the " impression"-- 

501 (1886-1887) 

All thought, judgment, perception, considered as comparison, has as its 
precondition a "positing of equality, " and earlier still a "making 
equal." The process of making equal is the same as the process of 
incorporation of appropriated material in the amoeba. 

"Memory" late, in so far as here the drive to make equal seems already 
to have been subdued: differentiation is preserved. Remembering as a 
process of classification and pigeonholing: who is active? 

502 (1885) 

One must revise one's ideas about memory: here lies the chief temptation 
to assume a "soul," which, outside time, reproduces, recognizes, etc. 
But that which is experienced lives on "in the memory"; I cannot help it 
if it "comes back," the will is inactive in this case, as in the coming 
of any thought. Something happens of which I become conscious: now 
something similar comes— who called it? roused it? 

503 (1884) 

The entire apparatus of knowledge is an apparatus for abstraction and 
simplif ication--directed not at knowledge but at taking possession of 
things: "end" and "means" are as remote from its essential nature as are 
"concepts." With "end" and "means" one takes possession of the process 
(one invents a process that can be grasped); with "concepts," however, 
of the "things" that constitute the process. 

504 (1883-1888) 

Consciousness--beginning quite externally, as coordination and becoming 
conscious of " impressions "--at first at the furthest distance from the 
biological center of the individual; but a process that deepens and 
intensifies itself, and continually draws nearer to that center. 

505 (1885-1886) 

Our perceptions, as we understand them: i. e., the sum of all those 
perceptions the becoming- conscious of which was useful and essential to 
us and to the entire organic process — theref ore not all perceptions in 
general (e. g., not the electric); this means: we have senses for only a 
selection of perceptions--those with which we have to concern ourselves 
in order to preserve ourselves. Consciousness is present only to the 
extent that consciousness is useful. It cannot be doubted that all sense 
perceptions are permeated with value judgments (useful and harmful-- 
consequently, pleasant or unpleasant) . Each individual color is also for 
us an expression of value (although we seldom admit it, or do so only 
after a protracted impression of exclusively the same color; e. g., a 
prisoner in prison, or a lunatic) . Thus insects also react differently 
to different colors: some like this color, some that; e. g., ants. 

506 (1884) 

First images--to explain how images arise in the spirit. Then words, 
applied to images. Finally concepts, possible only when there are 
words--the collecting together of many images in something nonvisible 
but audible (word) . The tiny amount of emotion to which the "word" gives 
rise, as we contemplate similar images for which one word exists--this 
weak emotion is the common element, the basis of the concept. That weak 
sensations are regarded as alike, sensed as being the same, is the 
fundamental fact. Thus confusion of two sensations that are close 
neighbors, as we take note of these sensations; but who is taking note? 
Believing is the primal beginning even in every sense impression: a kind 
of affirmation the first intellectual activity! A "holding-true" in the 
beginning! Therefore it is to be explained: how "holding-true" arose! 
What sensation lies behind "true"? 

507 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The valuation "I believe that this and that is so" as the essence of 
"truth." In valuations are expressed conditions of preservation and 
growth. All our organs of knowledge and our senses are developed only 
with regard to conditions of preservation and growth. Trust in reason 
and its categories, in dialectic, therefore the valuation of logic, 
proves only their usefulness for life, proved by experience—not that 
something is true. 

That a great deal of belief must be present; that judgments may be 
ventured; that doubt concerning all essential values is lacking--that is 
the precondition of every living thing and its life. Therefore, what is 
needed is that something must be held to be true — not that something is 
true . 

"The real and the apparent world"--I have traced this antithesis back to 
value relations. We have projected the conditions of our preservation as 
predicates of being in general. Because we have to be stable in our 
beliefs if we are to prosper, we have made the "real" world a world not 
of change and becoming, but one of being. 

5. Origin of Reason and Logic 

508 (1883-1888) 

Originally a chaos of ideas. The ideas that were consistent with one 
another remained, the greater number perished--and are perishing. 

509 (1883-1888) 

The earthly kingdom of desires out of which logic grew: the herd 
instinct in the background. The assumption of similar cases presupposes 
"similar souls." For the purpose of mutual agreement and dominion. 

510 (1883-1888) 

On the origin of logic. The fundamental inclination to posit as egual, 
to see things as egual, is modified, held in check, by consideration of 
usefulness and harmfulness, by considerations of success: it adapts 
itself to a milder degree in which it can be satisfied without at the 
same time denying and endangering life. This whole process corresponds 
exactly to that external, mechanical process (which is its symbol) by 
which protoplasm makes what it appropriates egual to itself and fits it 
into its own forms and files. 

511 (1885-1886) 
Equality and similarity. 

1. The coarser organ sees much apparent equality; 

2. the spirit wants equality, i. e., to subsume a sense impression into 
an existing series: in the same way as the body assimilates inorganic 
matter . 

Toward an understanding of logic: the will to equality is the will to 
power--the belief that something is thus and thus (the essence of 
judgment) is the consequence of a will that as much as possible shall be 
equal . 

512 (1885) 

Logic is bound to the condition: assume there are identical cases. In 
fact, to make possible logical thinking and inferences, this condition 
must first be treated fictitously as fulfilled. That is: the will to 
logical truth can be carried through only after a fundamental 
falsification of all events is assumed. From which it follows that a 
drive rules here that is capable of employing both means, firstly 
falsification, then the implementation of its own point of view: logic 
does not spring from will to truth. 

513 (Fall 1886) 

The inventive force that invented categories labored in the service of 
our needs, namely of our need for security, for quick understanding on 
the basis of signs and sounds, for means of abbreviation : --"substance" , 
"subject", "object", "being", "becoming" have nothing to do with 
metaphysical truths. -- 

It is the powerful who made the names of things into law, and among the 
powerful it is the greatest artists in abstraction who created the 
categories . 

514 (March-June 1888) 

A morality, a mode of living, tried and proved by long experience and 
testing, at length enters consciousness as a law, as dominating--And 
therewith the entire group of related values and states enters into it: 
it becomes venerable, unassailable, holy, true; it is part of its 
development that its origin should be forgotten.-- That is a sign it has 
become master- 
Exactly the same thing could have happened with the categories of 
reason: they could have prevailed, after much groping and fumbling, 
through their relative utility--There came a point when one collected 
them together, raised them to consciousness as a whole--and when one 
commanded them, i. e., when they had the effect of a command--From then 
on, they counted as a priori, as beyond experience, as irrefutable. And 
yet perhaps they represent nothing more than the expediency of a certain 
race and species --their utility alone is their "truth"— 

515 (March-June 1888) 

Not "to know" but to schematize to impose upon chaos as much regularity 
and form as our practical needs require. 

In the formation of reason, logic, the categories, it was need that was 
authoritative: the need, not to "know," but to subsume, to schematize, 
for the purpose of intelligibility and calculation-- ( The development of 
reason is adjustment, invention, with the aim of making similar, equal-- 
the same process that every sense impression goes through!) No pre- 
existing "idea" was here at work, but the utilitarian fact that only 
when we see things coarsely and made egual do they become calculable and 
usable to us--Finality in reason is an effect, not a cause: life 
miscarries with any other kinds of reason, to which there is a continual 
impulse--it becomes difficult to survey—too unequal — 

The categories are "truths"' only in the sense that they are conditions 
of life for us: as Euclidean space is a conditional "truth." (Between 
ourselves: since no one would maintain that there is any necessity for 
men to exist, reason, as well as Euclidean space, is a mere idiosyncracy 
of a certain species of animal, and one among many--) 

The subjective compulsion not to contradict here is a biological 
compulsion: the instinct for the utility of inferring as we do infer is 
part of us, we almost are this instinct--But what naivete to extract 
from this a proof that we are therewith in possession of a "truth in 
itself "! --Not being able to contradict is proof of an incapacity, not of 
"truth. " 

516 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

We are unable to affirm and to deny one and the same thing: this is a 
subjective empirical law, not the expression of any "necessity" but only 
of an inability. 

If, according to Aristotle, the law of contradiction is the most certain 
of all principles, if it is the ultimate and most basic, upon which 
every demonstrative proof rests, if the principle of every axiom lies in 
it; then one should consider all the more rigorously what 
presuppositions already lie at the bottom of it. Either it asserts 
something about, actuality, about being, as if one already knew this 
from another source; that is, as if opposite attributes could not be 
ascribed to it. Or the proposition means: opposite attributes should not 
be ascribed to it. In that case, logic would be an imperative, not to 
know the true, but to posit and arrange a world that shall be called 
true by us . 

In short, the question remains open: are the axioms of logic adequate to 
reality or are they a means and measure for us to create reality, the 
concept "reality," for ourselves . ?--To affirm the former one would, as 
already said, have to have a previous knowledge of being--which is 
certainly not the case. The proposition therefore contains no criterion 
of truth, but an imperative concerning that which should count as true. 

Supposing there were no self -identical "A", such as is presupposed by 
every proposition of logic (and of mathematics), and the "A" were 
already mere appearance, then logic would have a merely apparent world 
as its condition. In fact, we believe in this proposition under the 
influence of ceaseless experience which seems continually to confirm 
it. The "thing"--that is the real substratum of "A"; our belief in 
things is the precondition of our belief in logic. The "A" of logic is, 
like the atom, a reconstruction of the thing--If we do not grasp this, 
but make of logic a criterion of true being, we are on the way to 
positing as realities all those hypostases: substance, attribute, 
object, subject, action, etc.; that is, to conceiving a metaphysical 
world, that is, a "real world" (--this, however, is the apparent world 

once more-- ) . 

The very first acts of thought, affirmation and denial, holding true and 
holding not true, are, in as much as they presuppose, not only the habit 
of holding things true and holding them not true, but a right to do 
this, already dominated by the belief that we can gain possession of 
knowledge, that judgments really can hit upon the truth; --in short, 
logic does not doubt its ability to assert something about the true-in- 
itself (namely, that it cannot have opposite attributes) . 

Here reigns the coarse sensualistic prejudice that sensations teach us 
truths about things--that I cannot say at the same time of one and the 
same thing that it is hard and that it is soft. (The instinctive proof 
"I cannot have two opposite sensations at the same time"--quite coarse 
and false . ) 

The conceptual ban on contradiction proceeds from the belief that we are 
able to form concepts, that the concept not only designates the essence 
of a thing but comprehends it--In fact, logic (like geometry and 
arithmetic) applies only to fictitious entities that we have created. 
Logic is the attempt to comprehend the actual world by means of a scheme 
of being posited by ourselves; more correctly, to make it formulatable 
and calculable for us — 

517 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

In order to think and infer it is necessary to assume beings: logic 
handles only formulas for what remains the same. That is why this 
assumption would not be proof of reality: "beings" are part of our 
perspective. The "ego" as a being (--not affected by becoming and 
development ) . 

The fictitious world of subject, substance, "reason" etc., is needed--: 
there is in us a power to order, simplify, falsify, artificially 
distinguish. "Truth" is the will to be master over the multiplicity of 
sensations : --to classify phenomena into definite categories. In this we 
start from a belief in the "in-itself" of things (we take phenomena as 
real ) . 

The character of the world in a state of becoming as incapable of 
formulation, as "false," as "'self-contradictory." Knowledge and 
becoming exclude one another. Consequently, "knowledge" must be 
something else: there must first of all be a will to make knowable, a 
kind of becoming must itself create the deception of beings. 

518 (1885-1886) 

If our "ego" is for us the sole being, after the model of which we 
fashion and understand all being: very well! Then there would be very 
much room to doubt whether what we have here is not a perspective 
illusion--an apparent unity that encloses everything like a horizon. The 
evidence of the body reveals a tremendous multiplicity; it is allowable, 
for purposes of method, to employ the more easily studied, richer 
phenomena as evidence for the understanding of the poorer. Finally: 
supposing everything is becoming, then knowledge is possible only on the 
basis of belief in being. 

519 (1883-1888) 

If there "is only one being, the ego" and all other "being" is fashioned 
after its model--if, finally, belief in the "ego" stands or falls with 

belief in logic, i. e., the metaphysical truth of the categories of 
reason; if, on the other hand, the ego proves to be something in a state 
of becoming: then-- 

520 (1885) 

Continual transition forbids us to speak of "individuals," etc; the 
"number" of beings is itself in flux. We would know nothing of time and 
motion if we did not, in a coarse fashion, believe we see what is at 
"rest" beside what is in motion. The same applies to cause and effect, 
and without the erroneous conception of "empty space" we should 
certainly not have acguired the conception of space. The principle of 
identity has behind it the "apparent fact" of things that are the same. 
A world in a state of becoming could not, in a strict sense, be 
"comprehended" or "known"; only to the extent that the "comprehending" 
and "knowing" intellect encounters a coarse, already-created world, 
fabricated out of mere appearances but become firm to the extent that 
this kind of appearance has preserved life--only to this extent is there 
anything like "knowledge"; i. e., a measuring of earlier and later 
errors by one another. 

521 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

On "logical semblance"-- The concepts "individual" and "species" egually 
false and merely apparent. "Species" expresses only the fact that an 
abundance of similar creatures appear at the same time and that the 
tempo of their further growth and change is for a long time slowed down, 
so actual small continuations and increases are not very much noticed 
(--a phase of evolution in which the evolution is not visible, so an 
eguilibrium seems to have been attained, making possible the false 
notion that a goal has been attained--and that evolution has a goal--) . 

The form counts as something enduring and therefore more valuable; but 
the form has merely been invented by us; and however often "the same 
form is attained, " it does not mean that it is the same form--what 
appears is always something new, and it is only we, who are always 
comparing, who include the new, to the extent that it is similar to the 
old, in the unity of the "form." As if a type should be attained and, as 
it were, was intended by and inherent in the process of formation. 

Form, species, law, idea, purpose--in all these cases the same error is 
made of giving a false reality to a fiction, as if events were in some 
way obedient to something--an artificial distinction is made in respect 
of events between that which acts and that toward which the act is 
directed (but this "which" and this "toward" are only posited in 
obedience to our metaphysical-logical dogmatism: they are not "facts") . 

One should not understand this compulsion to construct concepts, 
species, forms, purposes, laws ("a world of identical cases") as if they 
enabled us to fix the real world; but as a compulsion to arrange a world 
for ourselves in which our existence is made possible : --we thereby 
create a world which is calculable, simplified, comprehensible, etc., 
for us . 

This same compulsion exists in the sense activities that support 
reason — by simplification, coarsening, emphasizing, and elaborating, 
upon which all "recognition, " all ability to make oneself intelligible 
rests. Our needs have made our senses so precise that the "same apparent 
world" always reappears and has thus acguired the semblance of reality. 

Our subjective compulsion to believe in logic only reveals that, long 

before logic itself entered our consciousness, we did nothing but 
introduce its postulates into events: now we discover them in events—we 
can no longer do otherwise--and imagine that this compulsion guarantees 
something connected with "truth." It is we who created the "thing," the 
"identical thing, " subject, attribute, activity, object, substance, 
form, after we had long pursued the process of making identical, coarse 
and simple. The world seems logical to us because we have made it 
logical . 

522 (1886-1887) 

Ultimate solution . --We believe in reason: this, however, is the 
philosophy of gray concepts. Language depends on the most naive 
prejudices . 

Now we read disharmonies and problems into things because we think only 
in the form of language--and thus believe in the "eternal truth" of 
"reason" (e. g., subject, attribute, etc.) 

We cease to think when we refuse to do so under the constraint of 
language; we barely reach the doubt that sees this limitation as a 
limitation . 

Rational thought is interpretation according to a scheme that we cannot 
throw off . . 

6. Consciousness 

523 (March-June 1888) 

Nothing is more erroneous than to make of psychical and physical 
phenomena the two faces, the two revelations of one and the same 
substance. Nothing is explained thereby: the concept "substance" is 
perfectly useless as an explanation. Consciousness in a subsidiary role, 
almost indifferent, superfluous, perhaps destined to vanish and give way 
to a perfect automatism — 

When we observe only the inner phenomena we may be compared with the 
deaf-and-dumb, who divine through movements of the lips the words they 
do not hear. From the phenomena of the inner sense we conclude the 
existence of invisible and other phenomena that we would apprehend if 
our means of observation were adeguate and that one calls the nerve 
current . 

We lack any sensitive organs for this inner world, so we sense a 
thousandfold complexity as a unity; so we introduce causation where any 
reason for motion and change remains invisible to us --the seguence of 
thoughts and feelings is only their becoming visible in consciousness. 
That this seguence has anything to do with a causal chain is completely 
unbelievable: consciousness has never furnished us with an example of 
cause and effect. 

524 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The role of "consciousness . "--It is essential that one should not make a 
mistake over the role of "consciousness": it is our relation with the 
"outer world" that evolved it. On the other hand, the direction or 
protection and care in respect of the co-ordination of the bodily 
functions does not enter our consciousness; any more than spiritual 
accumulation: that a higher court rules over these things cannot be 
doubted--a kind of directing committee on which the various chief 

desires make their votes and power felt. "Pleasure," "displeasure" are 
hints from this sphere; also the act of will; also ideas. 

In summa: That which becomes conscious is involved in causal relations 
which are entirely withheld from us--the sequence of thoughts, feelings, 
ideas in consciousness does not signify that this sequence is a causal 
sequence; but apparently it is so, to the highest degree. Upon this 
appearance we have founded our whole idea of spirit, reason, logic, etc. 
(--none of these exist: they are fictitious syntheses and unities), and 
projected these into things and behind things! 

Usually, one takes consciousness itself as the general sensorium and 
supreme court; nonetheless, it is only a means of communication: it is 
evolved through social intercourse and with a view to the interests of 
social intercourse--" Intercourse" here understood to include the 
influences of the outer world and the reactions they compel on our side; 
also our effect upon the outer world. It is not the directing agent, but 
an organ of the directing agent. 

525 (1888) 

My proposition compressed into a formula that smells of antiquity, 
Christianity, scholasticism, and other muskiness: in the concept "God as 
spirit," God as perfection is negated-- 

526 (March-lune 1888) 

Where a certain unity obtains in the grouping of things, one has always 
posited spirit as the cause of this coordination: for which notion there 
is no ground whatever. Why should the idea of a complex fact be one of 
the conditions of this fact? or why should the notion of a complex fact 
have to precede it as its cause? — 

We shall be on our guard against explaining purposiveness in terms of 
spirit: there is no ground whatever for ascribing to spirit the 
properties of organization and systematization . The nervous system has a 
much more extensive domain; the world of consciousness is added to it. 
Consciousness plays no role in the total process of adaptation and 
systematization . 

527 (1886-1887) 

Physiologists, like philosophers, believe that consciousness increases 
in value in proportion as it increases in clarity: the clearest 
consciousness, the most logical and coldest thinking, is supposed to be 
of the first rank. However — by what measure is this value determined?-- 
In regard to release of will, the most superficial, most simplified 
thinking is the most useful--it could therefore — etc. (because it leaves 
few motives over) . 

Precision in action is antagonistic to far-seeing providentiality, the 
judgments of which are often uncertain: the latter is led by the deeper 
instinct . 

528 (1886-1887) 

Principal error of psychologists: they regard the indistinct idea as a 
lower kind of idea than the distinct: but that which removes itself from 
our consciousness and for that reason becomes obscure can on that 
account be perfectly clear in itself. Becoming obscure is a matter of 
perspective of consciousness. 

529 (March-June 1888) 
Tremendous blunders: 

1. the absurd overestimation of consciousness, the transformation of it 
into a unity, an entity: "spirit", "soul", something that feels, thinks, 
wills — 

2. spirit as cause, especially wherever purposiveness, system, co- 
ordination appear; 

3. consciousness as the highest achieveable form, as the supreme kind of 
being, as "God"; 

4. will introduced wherever there are effects; 

5. the "real world" as a spiritual world, as accessible through the 
facts of consciousness; 

6. knowledge as uniguely the faculty of consciousness wherever there is 
knowledge at all. 

Conseguences : 

every advance lies in an advance in becoming conscious; every regression 
in becoming unconscious; (--becoming unconscious was considered a 
falling back to the desires and senses --as becoming animal--) 

one approaches reality, "real being", through dialectic; one distances 
oneself from it through the instincts, senses, mechanism— 

to resolve man into spirit would mean to make him into God: spirit, 
will, goodness--all one; all good must proceed from spirituality, must 
be a fact of consciousness; any advance toward the better can only be an 
advance in becoming conscious 

7. Judgment. True--False 

In the case of Kant, theological prejudice, his unconscious dogmatism, 
his moralistic perspective, were dominant, directing, commanding. 

The proton pseudos: how is the fact of knowledge possible? is knowledge 
a fact at all? what is knowledge? If we do not know what knowledge is, 
we cannot possibly answer the guestion whether there is knowledge . --Very 
well! But if I do not already "know' whether there is knowledge, whether 
there can be knowledge, I cannot reasonably put the guestion "what is 
knowledge?" Kant believes in the fact of knowledge: what he wants is a 
piece of naivete: knowledge of knowledge! 

"Knowledge is judgment!" But judgment is a belief that something is thus 
and thus! And not knowledge! "All knowledge consists of synthetic 
judgments" of universal validity 

(the case is thus and not otherwise in every case), of necessary 
validity (the opposite of the assertion can never occur) . 

The legitimacy of belief in knowledge is always presupposed: just as the 
legitimacy of the feelings of conscience- judgments is presupposed. Here 
moral ontology is the dominant prejudice. 

The conclusion is therefore: 

1. there are assertions that we consider universally valid and 

2. necessity and universal validity cannot be derived from experience; 

3. consequently they must be founded, not upon experience, but upon 
something else, and derive from another source of knowledge! 

(Kant infers (1) there are assertions which are valid only under a 
certain condition; (2) this condition is that they derive, not from 
experience, but from pure reason.) 

Therefore: the question is, whence do we derive our reasons for 
believing in the truth of such assertions? No, how our belief is caused! 
But the origin of a belief, of a strong conviction, is a psychological 
problem: and a very narrow and limited experience often produces such a 
belief! It already presupposes that there is not "data a posteriori" but 
also data a priori, "preceding experience." Necessity and universal 
validity could never be given to us by experience: why does that mean 
that they are present without any experience at all? 

There are no isolated judgments! 

An isolated judgment is never "true," never knowledge; only in the 
connection and relation of many judgments is there any surety. 

What distinguishes the true from the false belief? What is knowledge? He 
"knows" it, that is heavenly! 

Necessity and universality can never be given by experience! thus they 
are independent of experience, prior to all experience! That insight 
that occurs a priori, therefore independently of all experience, out of 
sheer reason, is "a pure form of knowledge"! 

"The basic laws of logic, the law of identity and the law of 
contradiction, are forms of pure knowledge, because they precede all 
experience . "--But these are not forms of knowledge at all! they are 
regulative articles of belief. 

To establish the a priori character (the pure rationality) of the 
judgments of mathematics, space must be conceived as a form of pure 
reason . 

Hume had declared: "There are no synthetic a priori judgments." Kant 
says: But there are! Those of mathematics! And if there are such 
judgments, perhaps there is also metaphysics, a knowledge of things by 
pure reason! 

Mathematics is possible under conditions under which metaphysics is 
never possible. All human knowlege is either experience or mathematics. 

A judgment is synthetic; i. e., it connects different ideas. 

It is a priori; i. e., every connection is a universally valid and 
necessary one, which can never be given by sense perception but only 
through pure reason. 

If there are to be synthetic a priori judgments, then reason must be in 
a position to make connections: connection is a form. Reason must 
possess the capacity of giving form. 

531 (1885-1886) 

Judgment is our oldest belief, our most habitual holding-true or 
holding-untrue, an assertion or denial, a certainty that something is 
thus and not otherwise, a belief that here we really "know"-- what is it 
that is believed true in all judgments? 

What are attributes?--We have not regarded change in us as change but as 
an "in itself" that is foreign to us, that we merely "perceive": and we 
have posited it, not as an event, but as a being, as a "guality"--and in 
addition invented an entity to which it adheres; i. e., we have regarded 
the effect as something that effects, and this we have regarded as a 
being. But even in this formulation, the concept "effect" is arbitrary: 
for those changes that take place in us, and that we firmly believe we 
have not ourselves caused, we merely infer to be effects, in accordance 
with the conclusion: "every change must have an author "; --but this 
conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from 
the effecting. If I say "lightning flashes," I have posited the flash 
once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to 
the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, 
"is" and does not "become . "--To regard an event as an "effecting," and 
this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we 
are guilty. 

532 (1885) 

Judgment--this is the belief: "This and that are so." Thus there is in 
every judgment the avowal of having encountered an "identical case": it 
therefore presupposes comparison with the aid of memory. The judgment 
does not produce the appearance of an identical case. Rather it believes 
it perceives one: it works under the presupposition that identical cases 
exist. Now, what is that function that must be much older and must have 
been at work much earlier, that makes cases identical and similar which 
are in themselves dissimilar? What is that second function, which on the 
basis of the first, etc. "Whatever arouses the same sensation is the 
same": but what is it that makes sensations the same, "accepts" them as 
the same? There could be no judgments at all if a kind of egualization 
were not practiced within sensations: memory is possible only with a 
continual emphasizing of what is already familiar, experienced . --Before 
judgment occurs, the process of assimilation must already have taken 
place; thus here, too, there is an intellectual activity that does not 
enter consciousness, as pain does as a conseguence of a wound. Probably 
an inner event corresponds to each organic function; hence assimilation, 
rejection, growth, etc. 

Essential: to start from the body and employ it as guide. It is the much 
richer phenomenon, which allows of clearer observation. Belief in the 
body is better established than belief in the spirit. 

"No matter how strongly a thing may be believed, strength of belief is 
no criterion of truth." But what is truth? Perhaps a kind of belief that 
has become a condition of life? In that case, to be sure, strength could 
be a criterion; e. g., in regard to causality. 

533 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Logical certainty, transparency, as criterion of truth ("omncillud verum 
est, guod clare et distincte percipitur." Descartes) : with that, the 
mechanical hypothesis concerning the world is desired and credible. 

But this is a crude confusion: like simplex sigillum veri. How does one 
know that the real nature of things stands in this relation to our 
intellect ?--Could it not be otherwise? that it is the hypothesis that 
gives the intellect the greatest feeling of power and security, that is 
most preferred, valued and conseguently characterized as true?--The 
intellect posits its freest and strongest capacity and capability as 
criterion of the most valuable, conseguently of the true— 

"True": from the standpoint of feeling--: that which excites the feeling 
most strongly ("ego"); 

from the standpoint of thought--: that which gives thought the greatest 
feeling of strength; 

from the standpoint of touch, seeing, hearing--: that which calls for 
the greatest resistance. 

Thus it is the highest degrees of performance that awaken belief in the 
"truth," that is to say reality, of the object. The feeling of strength, 
of struggle, of resistance convinces us that there is something that is 
here being resisted. 

534 (1887-1888) 

The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of 
power . 

535 (1885) 

"Truth": this, according to my way of thinking, does not necessarily 
denote the antithesis of error, but in the most fundamental cases only 
the posture of various errors in relation to one another. Perhaps one is 
older, more profound than another, even ineradicable, in so far as an 
organic entity of our species could not live without it; while other 
errors do not tyrannize over us in this way as conditions of life, but 
on the contrary when compared with such "tyrants" can be set aside and 
"refuted . " 

An assumption that is irref utable--why should it for that reason be 
"true"? This proposition may perhaps outrage logicians, who posit their 
limitations as the limitations of things: but I long ago declared war on 
this optimism of logicians. 

536 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

Everything simple is merely imaginary, is not "true." But whatever is 
real, whatever is true, is neither one nor even reducible to one. 

537 (1885-1888) 

What is truth?--Inertia; that hypothesis which gives rise to 
contentment; smallest expenditure of spiritual force, etc. 

538 (1883-1888) 

First proposition. The easier mode of thought conguers the harder 
mode;--as dogma: simplex sigillum veri.-- Ditto: to suppose that clarity 
proves anything about truth is perfect childishness-- 

Second proposition. The doctrine of being, of things, of all sorts of 
fixed unities is a hundred times easier than the doctrine of becoming, 

of development-- 

Third proposition. Logic was intended as facilitation; as a means of 
expression--not as truth--Later it acquired the effect of truth-- 

539 (March-June 1888) 

Parmenides said, "one cannot think of what is not", --we are at the other 
extreme, and say "what can be thought of must certainly be a fiction. ' ' 

540 (1885) 

There are many kinds of eyes. Even the sphinx has eyes-- and 
consequently there are many kinds of "truths," and consequently there is 
no truth. Spencer. 

541 (March-June 1888) 

Inscriptions for the Door of a Modern Madhouse 

"What is thought necessarily is morally necessary." Herbert 

"The ultimate test of the truth of a proposition is the conceivability 
of its negation." Herbert Spencer. 

542 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

If the character of existence should be false--which would be possible-- 
what would truth, all our truth, be then?--An unconscionable 
falsification of the false? The false raised to a higher power?— 

543 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

In a world that is essentially false, truthfulness would be an 
antinatural tendency: such a tendency could have meaning only as a means 
to a higher power of falsehood. In order for a world of the true, of 
being, to be invented, the truthful man would first have to be created 
(including the fact that such a man believes himself "truthful") . 

Simple, transparent, not in contradiction with himself, durable, 
remaining always the same, without wrinkle, volt, concealment, form: a 
man of this kind conceives a world of being as "God" in his own image. 

For truthfulness to be possible, the whole sphere of man must be very 
clean, small and, respectable; advantage in every sense must be with the 
truthful man. --Lies, deception, dissimulation must arouse astonishment-- 

544 (1885-1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Increase in "dissimulation" proportionate to the rising order of rank of 
creatures. It seems to be lacking in the inorganic world-- power against 
power, quite crudely cunning begins in the organic world; plants are 
already masters of it. The highest human beings, such as Caesar, 
Napoleon (Stendhal's remark on him), also the higher races 
(Italians), the Greeks (Odysseus); a thousandfold craftiness belongs to 
the essence of the enhancement of man-- problem of the actor. My 
Dionysus ideal--The perspective of all organic functions, all the 
strongest instincts of life: the force in all life that wills error; 
error as the precondition even of thought. Before there is "thought" 
there must have been "invention"; the construction of identical cases, 
of the appearance of sameness, is more primitive than the knowledge of 

sameness . 

8. Against Causalism 

545 (1885) 

I believe in absolute space as the substratum of force: the latter 
limits and forms. Time eternal. But space and time do not exist in 
themselves. "Changes" are only appearances (or sense processes for us); 
if we posit the recurrence of these, however regular, nothing is 
established thereby except this simple fact, that it has always happened 
thus. The feeling that post hoc is propter hoc can easily be shown to be 
a misunderstanding; it is comprehensible. But appearances cannot be 
"causes" ! 

546 (1885-1886) 

The interpretation of an event as either an act or the suffering of an 
act (--thus every act a becoming-other, presupposes an author and 
someone upon who "change" is effected. 

547 (1885-1886) 

Psychological history of the concept "subject." The body, the thing, the 
"whole" construed by the eye, awaken the distinction between a deed and 
a doer; the doer, the cause of the deed, conceived ever more subtly, 
finally left behind the "subject." 

548 (1885-1886) 

Our bad habit of taking a mnemonic, an abbreviative formula, to be an 

entity, finally as a cause, e. g., to say of lightning "it flashes." Or 

the little word "I." To make a kind of perspective in seeing the cause 

of seeing: that was what happened in the invention of the "subject," the 
H j H i 

549 (1885) 

"Subject", "object", "attribute"--these distinctions are fabricated and 
are now imposed as a schematism upon all the apparent facts. The 
fundamental false observation is that I believe it is I who does 
something, suffer something, "have" something, "have" a guality. 

550 (1885-1886) 

In every judgment there resides the entire, full, profound belief in 
subject and attribute, or in cause and effect (that is, as the assertion 
that every effect is an activity and that every activity presupposes an 
agent); and this latter belief is only a special case of the former, so 
there remains as the fundamental belief the belief that there are 
subjects, that everything that happens is related attributively to some 
subject . 

I notice something and seek a reason for it; this means originally: I 
seek an intention in it, and above all someone who has intentions, a 
subject, a doer: every event a deed--f ormerly One saw intentions in all 
events, this is our oldest habit. Do animals also possess it? As living 
beings, must they not also rely on interpretations based on 
themselves? — 

The guestion "why?" is always a guestion after the causa finalis' after 

the "what for?" We have no "sense for the causa efficiens": here Hume 
was right; habit (but not only that of the individual!) makes us expect 
that a certain often-observed occurrence will follow another: nothing 
more! That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in 
causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following 
another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events 
caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the 
only effective force — in will, in intention--it is belief that every 
event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the 
"subject." Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a 
great stupidity? 

Question: is intention the cause of an event? Or is that also illusion? 

Is it not the event itself? 

551 (March-June 1888) 

Critigue of the concept "cause".- We have absolutely no experience of a 
cause; psychologically considered, we derive the entire concept from the 
subjective conviction that we are causes, namely, that the arm moves-- 
But that is an error. We separate ourselves, the doers, from the deed, 
and we make use of this pattern everywhere--we seek a doer for every 
event. What is it we have done? We have misunderstood the feeling of 
strength, tension, resistance, a muscular feeling that is already the 
beginning of the act, as the cause, or we have taken the will to do this 
or that for a cause because the action follows upon it--cause, i. e.,- 

There is no such thing as "cause"; some cases in which it seemed to be 
given us, and in which we have projected it out of ourselves in order to 
understand an event, have been shown to be self-deceptions. Our 
"understanding of an event" has consisted in our inventing a subject 
which was made responsible for something that happens and for how it 
happens. We have combined our feeling of will, our feeling of 
"freedom," our feeling of responsibility and our intention to perform an 
act, into the concept "cause": causa efficiens and causa finalis are 
fundamentally one. 

We believed that an effect was explained when a condition was detected 
in which the effect was already inherent. In fact, we invent all causes 
after the schema of the effect: the latter is known to us — Conversely, 
we are not in a position to predict of any thing what it will "effect." 
The thing, the subject, will, intention--all inherent in the conception 
"cause." We search for things in order to explain why something has 
changed. Even the atom is this kind of super-added "thing" and 
"primitive subject"-- 

At length we grasp that things--conseguently atoms, too-- effect 
nothing: because they do not exist at all--that the concept of causality 
is completely useless.-- A necessary seguence of states does not imply a 
causal relationship between them (--that would mean making their 
effective capacity leap from 1 to 2, to 3, to 4, to 5) . There are 
neither causes nor effects. Linguistically we do not know how to rid 
ourselves of them. But that does not matter. If I think of the muscle 
apart from its "effects", I negate it— 

In summa: an event is neither effected nor does it effect. Causa is a 
capacity to produce effects that has been super-added to the events- 
Interpretation by causality a deception--A "thing" is the sum of its 
effects, synthetically united by a concept, an image. In fact, science 

has emptied the concept causality of its content and retained it as a 
formula of an equation, in which it has become at bottom a matter of 
indifference on which side cause is placed and on which side effect. It 
is asserted that in two complex states (constellations of force) the 
quanta of force remain constant. 

The calculability of an event does not reside in the fact that a rule is 
adhered to, or that a necessity is obeyed, or that a law of causality 
has been projected by us into every event: it resides in the recurrence 
of "identical cases". 

There is no such thinq as a sense of causality, as Kant thinks. One is 
surprised, one is disturbed, one desires somethinq familiar to hold on 
to — As soon as we are shown somethinq old in the new' we are calmed. The 
supposed instinct for causality is only fear of the unfamiliar and the 
attempt to discover somethinq familiar in it--a search, not for causes, 
but for the familiar. 

552 (Sprinq-Fall 1887) 

Aqainst determinism and teleology.-- From the fact that something ensues 
regularly and ensues calculably, it does not follow that it ensues 
necessarily. That a quantum of force determines and conducts itself in 
every particular case in one way and manner does not make it into an 
"unfree will." "Mechanical necessity" is not a fact: it is we who first 
interpreted it into events. We have interpreted the formulatable 
character of events as the consequence of a necessity that rules over 
events. But from the fact that I do a certain thinq, it by no means 
follows that I am compelled to do it. Compulsion in thinqs certainly 
cannot be demonstrated: the rule proves only that one and the same event 
is not another event as well. Only because we have introduced subjects, 
"doers," into thinqs does it appear that all events are the consequences 
of compulsion exerted upon sub jects--exerted by whom? aqain by a 
"doer." Cause and effect--a danqerous concept so lonq as one thinks of 
somethinq that causes and somethinq upon which an effect is produced. 

a. Necessity is not a fact but an interpretation. 

b. When one has qrasped that the "subject" is not somethinq that creates 
effects, but only a fiction, much follows. 

It is only after the model of the subject that we have invented the 
reality of thinqs and projected them into the medley of sensations. If 
we no lonqer believe in the effective subject, then belief also 
disappears in effective thinqs, in reciprocation, cause and effect 
between those phenomena that we call thinqs. 

There also disappears, of course, the world of effective atoms: the 
assumption of which always depended on the supposition that one needed 
subjects . 

At last, the "thing-in-itself " also disappears, because this is 
fundamentally the conception of a "subject-in-itself . " But we have 
grasped that the subject is a fiction. The antithesis "thing-in-itself" 
and "appearance" is untenable; with that, however, the concept 
"appearance" also disappears. 

c. If we give up the effective subject, we also give up the object upon 
which effects are produced. Duration, identity with itself, being are 
inherent neither in that which is called subject nor in that which is 
called object: they are complexes of events apparently durable in 

comparison with other complexes — e . g., through the difference in tempo 
of the event (rest — motion, firm--loose: opposites that do not exist in 
themselves and that actually express only variations in degree that from 
a certain perspective appear to be opposites. There are no opposites: 
only from those of logic do we derive the concept of opposites--and 
falsely transfer it to things) . 

d. If we give up the concept "subject" and "object," then also the 
concept "substance" — and as a conseguence also the various modifications 
of it, e. g., "matter," "spirit," and other hypothetical entities, "the 
eternity and immutability of matter," etc. We have got rid of 
materiality . 

From the standpoint of morality, the world is false. But to the extent 
that morality itself is a part of this world, morality is false. 

Will to truth is a making firm, a making true and durable, an abolition 
of the false character of things, a reinterpretation of it into beings. 
"Truth" is therefore not something there, that might be found or 
discovered--but something that must be created and that gives a name to 
a process, or rather to a will to overcome that has in itself no end — 
introducing truth, as a processus in infinitum, an active determining-- 
not a becoming conscious of something that is in itself firm and 
determined. It is a word for the "will to power." 

Life is founded upon the premise of a belief in enduring and regularly 
recurring things; the more powerful life is, the wider must be the 
knowable world to which we, as it were, attribute being. Logicizing, 
rationalizing, systematizing as expedients of life. 

Man projects his drive to truth, his "goal" in a certain sense outside 
himself as a world that has being, as a metaphysical world, as a "thing- 
in-itself , " as a world already in existence. His needs as creator invent 
the world upon which he works, anticipate it; this anticipation (this 
"belief" in truth) is his support. 

All events, all motion, all becoming, as a determination, degrees and 
relations of force, as a struggle-- 

As soon as we imagine someone who is responsible for our being thus and 
thus, etc. (God, nature), and therefore attribute to him the intention 
that we should exist and be happy or wretched, we corrupt for ourselves 
the innocence of becoming. We then have someone who wants to achieve 
something through us and with us. 

The "'welfare of the individual" is just as imaginary as the "welfare of 
the species": the former is not sacrificed to the latter, species viewed 
from a distance is just as transient as the individual. "Preservation of 
the species" is only a conseguence of the growth of the species, i. e., 
the. overcoming of the species on the road to a stronger type. 

[Theses.] That the apparent "purposiveness" ("that purposiveness which 
endlessly surpasses all the arts of man") is merely the conseguence of 
the will to power manifest in all events; that becoming stronger 
involves an ordering process which looks like a sketchy purposiveness; 
that apparent ends are not intentional but, as soon as dominion is 
established over a lesser power and the latter operates as a function of 
the greater power, an order of rank, of organization is bound to produce 
the appearance of an order of means and ends . 

Against apparent "necessity" : --this is only an expression for the fact 

that a force is not also something else. 

Against apparent "purposiveness " : --the latter only an expression for an 
order of spheres of power and their interplay. 

9. Thing-in-Itself and Appearance 

553 (1886-1887) 

The sore spot of Kant's critical philosophy has gradually become visible 
even to dull eyes: Kant no longer has a right to his distinction 
"appearance" and "thing-in-itself "--he had deprived himself of the right 
to go on distinguishing in this old familiar way, in so far as he 
rejected as impermissible making inferences from phenomena to a cause of 
phenomena — in accordance with his conception of causality and its purely 
intra-phenomenal validity-- which conception, on the other hand, already 
anticipates this distinction, as if the "thing-in-itself" were not only 
inferred but given. 

554 (1885-1886) 

Causalism. --It is obvious that things-in-themselves cannot be related to 
one another as cause and effect, nor can appearance be so related to 
appearance; from which it follows that in a philosophy that believes in 
things-in-themselves and appearances the concept "cause and effect" 
cannot be applied. Kant's mistakes 

In fact, the concept "cause and effect" derives, psychologically 
speaking, only from a mode of thought that believes that always and 
everywhere will operates upon will--that believes only in living things 
and fundamentally only in "souls" (and not in things) . Within the 
mechanistic view of the world (which is logic and its application to 
space and time), that concept is reduced to the formulas of 
mathematics--with which, as one must emphasize again and again, nothing 
is ever comprehended, but rather designated and distorted. 

555 (1885-1886) 

Against the scientific pre judice . --The biggest fable of all is the fable 
of knowledge. One would like to know what things-in-themselves are; but 
behold, there are no things-in-themselves! But even supposing there were 
an in-itself, an unconditioned thing, it would for that very reason be 
unknowable! Something unconditioned cannot be known; otherwise it would 
not be unconditioned! Coming to know, however, is always "placing 
oneself in a conditional relation to something" one who seeks to know 
the unconditioned desires that it should not concern him, and that this 
same something should be of no concern to anyone. This involves a 
contradiction, first, between wanting to know and the desire that it not 
concern us (but why know at all, then?) and, secondly, because something 
that is of no concern to anyone IS not at all, and thus cannot be known 
at all. — 

Coming to know means "to place oneself in a conditional relation to 
something"; to feel oneself conditioned by something and oneself to 
condition it— it is therefore under all circumstances establishing, 
denoting, and making-conscious of conditions (not forthcoming entities, 
things, what is "in-itself") . 

556 (1885-1886) 

A "thing-in-itself" just as perverse as a "sense-in-itself , " a "meaning- 

in-itself." There are no "f acts-in-themselves, " for a sense must always 
be projected into them before there can be "facts." 

The question "what is that?" is an imposition of meaning from some other 
viewpoint. "Essence," the "essential nature," is something perspective 
and already presupposes a multiplicity. At the bottom of it there always 
lies "what is that for me?" (for us, for all that lives, etc.) 

A thing would be defined once all creatures had asked "what is that?" 
and had answered their question. Supposing one single creature, with its 
own relationships and perspectives for all things, were missing, then 
the thing would not yet be "defined" . 

In short: the essence of a thing is only an opinion about the "thing." 
Or rather: "it is considered" as the real "it is," the sole "this is." 

One may not ask: "who then interprets?" for the interpretation itself is 
a form of the will to power, it exists (but not as a "being, ' but as a 
process, a becoming) as an affect. 

The origin of "things" is wholly the work of that which imagines, 
thinks, wills, feels. The concept "thing" itself just as much as all its 
qualities . --Even "the subject" is such a created entity, a "thing" like 
all others: a simplification with the object of defining the force which 
posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from all individual positing, 
inventing, thinking as such. Thus a capacity as distinct from all that 
is individual--f undamentally, action collectively considered with 
respect to all anticipated actions (action and the probability of 
similar actions) . 

557 (1885-1886) 

The properties of a thing are effects on other "things": if one removes 
other "things," then a thing has no properties, i. e., there is no thing 
without other things, i. e., there is no "thing-in-itself . " 

558 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The "thing-in-itself" nonsensical. If I remove all the relationships, 
all the "properties," all the "activities" of a thing, the thing does 
not remain over; because thingness has only been invented by us owing to 
the requirements of logic, thus with the aim of defining, communication 
(to bind together the multiplicity of relationships, properties, 
activities ) . 

559 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

"Things that have a constitution in themselves "--a dogm idea with which 
one must break absolutely. 

560 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

That things possess a constitution in themselves quite apart from 
interpretation and subjectivity, is a quite idle hypothesis: it 
presupposes that interpretation and subjectivity are not essential, that 
a thing freed from all relationships would still be a thing. 

Conversely, the apparent objective character of things: could it not be 
merely a difference of degree within the subjective?--that perhaps that 
which changes slowly presents itself to us as "objectively" enduring, 
being, " in-itself "--that the objective is only a false concept of a 

genus and an antithesis within the subjective? 

561 (1885-1886) 

Suppose all unity were unity only as an organization? But the "thing" in 
which we believe was only invented as a foundation for the various 
attributes. If the thing "effects," that means: we conceive all the 
other properties which are present and momentarily latent, as the cause 
of the emergence of one single property; i. e., we take the sum of its 
properties--"x"--as cause of the property "x" : which is utterly stupid 
and mad! 

All unity is unity only as organization and co-operation-- just as a 
human community is a unity--as opposed to an atomistic anarchy, as a 
pattern of domination that signifies a unity but is not a unity. 

562 (1883-1888) 

"In the development of thought a point had to be reached at which one 
realized that what one called the properties of things were sensations 
of the feeling subject: at this point the properties ceased to belong to 
the thing." The "thing-in-itself " remained. The distinction between the 
thing-in-itself and the thing-for-us is based on the older, naive form 
of perception which granted energy to things; but analysis revealed that 
even force was only projected into them, and likewise--substance . "The 
thing affects a subject"? Root of the idea of substance in language, not 
in beings outside us! The thing-in-itself is no problem at all! 

Beings will have to be thought of as sensations that are no longer based 
on something devoid of sensation. 

In motion, no new content is given to sensation. That which IS, cannot 
contain motion: therefore it is a form of being. 

N. B. The explanation of an event can be sought firstly: through mental 
images of the event that precede it (aims); 

secondly: through mental images that succeed it (the mathematical- 
physical explanation) . 

One should not confuse the two. Thus: the physical explanation, which is 
a symbolization of the world by means of sensation and thought, can in 
itself never account for the origin of sensation and thought; rather 
physics must construe the world of feeling consistently as lacking 
feeling and aim--right up to the highest human being. And teleology is 
only a history of purposes and never physical! 

563 (1886-1887) 

Our "knowing" limits itself to establishing guantities; but we cannot 
help feeling these differences in guantity as gualities. Quality is a 
perspective truth for us; not an "in-itself." 

Our senses have a definite guantum as a mean within which they function; 
i. e., we sense bigness and smallness in relation to the conditions of 
our existence. If we sharpened or blunted our senses tenfold, we should 
perish; i. e., with regard to making possible our existence we sense 
even relations between magnitudes as gualities. 

564 (1885-1886) 

Might all quantities not be signs of qualities? A greater power implies 
a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a different perspective; 
growth itself is a desire to be more; the desire for an increase in 
quantum grows from a quale; in a purely quantitative world everything 
would be dead, stiff, motionless.-- The reduction of all qualities to 
quantities is nonsense: what appears is that the one accompanies the 
other, an analogy-- 

565 (Fall 1886) 

Qualities are insurmountable barriers for us; we cannot help feeling 
that mere quantitative differences are something fundamentally distinct 
from quantity, namely that they are qualities which can no longer be 
reduced to one another. But everything for which the word "knowledge" 
makes any sense refers to the domain of reckoning, weighing, measuring, 
to the domain of quantity; while, on the other hand, all our sensations 
of value (i. e., simply our sensations) adhere precisely to qualities, 
i. e., to our perspective "truths" which belong to us alone and can by 
no means be "known" ! It is obvious that every creature different from us 
senses different qualities and consequently lives in a different world 
from that in which we live. Qualities are an idiosyncrasy peculiar to 
man; to demand that our human interpretations and values should be 
universal and perhaps constitutive values is one of the hereditary 
madnesses of human pride. 

566 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The "real world," however one has hitherto conceived it, it has always 
been the apparent world once again. 

567 (March-June 1888) 

The apparent world, i. e., a world viewed according to values; ordered, 
selected according to values, i. e., in this case according to the 
viewpoint of utility in regard to the preservation and enhancement of 
the power of a certain species of animal. 

The perspective therefore decides the character of the "appearance"! As 
if a world would still remain over after one deducted the perspective! 
By doing that one would deduct relativity! 

Every center of force adopts a perspective toward the entire remainder, 
i. e., its own particular valuation, mode of action, and mode of 
resistance. The "apparent world," therefore, is reduced to a specific 
mode of action on the world, emanating from a center. 

Now there is no other mode of action whatever; and the "world" is only a 
word for the totality of these actions. Reality consists precisely in 
this particular action and reaction of every individual part toward the 

No shadow of a right remains to speak here of appearance— 

The specific mode of reacting is the only mode of reacting; we do not 
know how many and what kinds of other modes there are. 

But there is no "other," no "true," no essential being--for this would 
be the expression of a world without action and reaction— 

The antithesis of the apparent world and the true world reduced to the 
antithesis "world" and "nothing."-- 

568 (March-June 1888) 

Critique of the concept "true and apparent world."-- Of these, the first 
is a mere fiction, constructed of fictitious entities. 

"Appearance" itself belongs to reality: it is a form of its being; i. 
e., in a world where there is no being, a certain calculable world of 
identical cases must first be created through appearance: a tempo at 
which observation and comparison are possible, etc. 

Appearance is an arranged and simplified world, at which our practical 
instincts have been at work; it is perfectly true for us; that is to 
say, we live, we are able to live in it: proof of its truth for us— 

The world, apart from our condition of living in it, the world that we 
have not reduced to our being, our logic and psychological prejudices, 
does not exist as a world "in-itself"; it is essentially a world of 
relationships; under certain conditions it has a differing aspect from 
every point; its being is essentially different from every point; it 
presses upon every point, every point resists it--and the sum of these 
is in every case quite incongruent . 

The measure of power determines what being possesses the other measure 
of power; in what form, force, constraint it acts or resists. 

Our particular case is interesting enough: we have produced a conception 
in order to be able to live in a world, in order to perceive just enough 
to endure it-- 

569 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Our psychological perspective is determined by the following: 1. that 
communication is necessary, and that for there to be communication 
something has to be firm, simplified, capable of precision (above all in 
the [so-called] identical case) . For it to be communicable, however, it 
must be experienced as adapted, as "recognizable." The material of the 
senses adapted by the understanding, reduced to rough outlines, made 
similar, subsumed under related matters. Thus the fuzziness and chaos of 
sense impressions are, as it were, logicized; 

2. the world of "phenomena" is the adapted world which we feel to be 
real. The "reality" lies in the continual recurrence of identical, 
familiar, related things in their logicized character, in the belief 
that here we are able to reckon and calculate; 

3. the antithesis of this phenomenal world is not "the true world," but 
the formless unformulable world of the chaos of sensations — another kind 
of phenomenal world, a kind "unknowable" for us; 

4. questions, what things " in-themselves " may be like, apart from our 
sense receptivity and the activity of our understanding, must be 
rebutted with the question: how could we know that things exist? 
"Thingness" was first created by us. The question is whether there could 
not be many other ways of creating such an apparent world--and whether 
this creating, logicizing, adapting, falsifying is not itself the best- 
guaranteed reality; in short, whether that which "posits things" is not 
the sole reality; and whether the "effect of the external world upon 

us" is not also only the result of such active sub jects--The other 
"entities" act upon us; our adapted apparent world is an adaptation and 
overpowering of their actions; a kind of defensive measure. The subject 

alone is demonstrable; hypothesis that only subjects exist--that 
"object" is only a kind of effect produced by a subject upon a subject a 
modus of the subject. 

10. Metaphysical Need 

570 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

If one is a philosopher as men have always been philosophers, one cannot 
see what has been and becomes--one sees only what is. But since nothing 
is, all that was left to the philosopher as his "world" was the 
imaginary . 

571 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

To assert the existence as a whole of things of which we know nothing 
whatever, precisely because there is an advantage in not being able to 
know anything of them, was a piece of naivete of Kant, resulting from 
needs, mainly moral-metaphysical. 

572 (1883-1888) 

An artist cannot endure reality, he looks away from it, back: he 
seriously believes that the value of a thing resides in that shadowy 
residue one derives from colors, form, sound, ideas, he believes that 
the more subtilized, attenuated, transient a thing or a man is, the more 
valuable he becomes; the less real, the more valuable. This is 
Platonism, which, however, involved yet another bold reversal: Plato 
measured the degree of reality by the degree of value and said: The more 
"Idea", the more being. He reversed the concept "reality" and said: 
"What you take for real is an error, and the nearer we approach the 
'Idea', the nearer we approach 'truth'. "--Is this understood? It was 
the greatest of rebaptisms; and because it has been adopted by 
Christianity we do not recognize how astonishing it is. Fundamentally, 
Plato, as the artist he was, preferred appearance to being! lie and 
invention to truth! the unreal to the actual! But he was so convinced of 
the value of appearance that he gave it the attributes 

"being" , "causality " and "goodness", and "truth", in short everything men 
value . 

The concept of value itself considered as a cause: first insight. The 
ideal granted all honorific attributes: second insight. 

573 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The idea of the "true world" or of "God" as absolutely immaterial, 
spiritual, good, is an emergency measure necessary while the opposite 
instincts are still all-powerf ul-- 

The degree of moderation and humanity attained is exactly reflected in 
the humanization of the gods: the Greeks of the strongest epoch, who 
were not afraid of themselves but rejoiced in themselves, brought their 
gods close to all their own affects--. 

The spiritualization of the idea of God is therefore far from being a 
sign of progress: one is heartily conscious of this when considering 
Goethe--in his case, the vaporization of God into virtue and spirit is 
felt as being on a coarser level-- 

574 (1883-1888) 

Senselessness of all metaphysics as the derivation of the conditioned 
from the unconditioned. 

It is in the nature of thinking that it thinks of and invents the 
unconditioned as an adjunct to the conditioned; just as it thought of 
and invented the "ego" as an adjunct to the multiplicity of its 
processes; it measures the world according to magnitudes posited by 
itself--such fundamental fictions as "the unconditional" , "ends and 
means' ' , "things", "substances", logical laws, numbers and forms. 

There would be nothing that could be called knowledge if thought did not 
first re-form the world in this way into "things", into what is self- 
identical. Only because there is thought is there untruth. 

Thought cannot be derived, any more than sensations can be; but that 
does not mean that its primordiality or "being-in-itself " has been 
proved! all that is established is that we cannot get beyond it, because 
we have nothing but thought and sensation. 

575 (1885-1886) 

"Knowledge" is a referring back: in its essence a regressus in 
infinitum. That which comes to a standstill (at a supposed causa prima, 
at something unconditioned, etc.) is laziness, weariness 

576 (1883-1888) 

Psychology of metaphysics: the influence of timidity. 

That which has been feared the most, the cause of the most powerful 
suffering (lust to rule, sex, etc.), has been treated by men with the 
greatest amount of hostility and eliminated from the "true" world. Thus 
they have eliminated the affects one by one --posited God as the 
antithesis of evil, that is, placed reality in the negation of the 
desires and affects (i. e., in nothingness) . 

In the same way, they have hated the irrational, the arbitrary, the 
accidental (as the causes of immeasurable physical suffering) . As a 
conseguence, they negated this element in being-in-itself and conceived 
it as absolute "rationality" and "purposiveness . " 

In the same way, they have feared change, transitoriness : this expresses 
a straitened soul, full of mistrust and evil experiences (the case of 
Spinoza: an opposite kind of man would account change a stimulus) . 

A creature overloaded and playing with force would call precisely the 
affects, irrationality, and change good in a eudaemonistic sense, 
together with their conseguences : danger, contrast, perishing, etc. 

577 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Against the value of that which remains eternally the same (vice 
Spinoza's naivete; Descartes' also), the values of the briefest and most 
transient, the seductive flash of gold on the belly of the serpent 

578 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Moral values even in theory of knowledge: trust in reason— why not 
mistrust? the "true world" is supposed to be the good world--why? 
appearance, change, contradiction, struggle devalued as immoral; desire 

for a world in which these things are missing; the transcendental world 
invented, in order that a place remains for "moral freedom" (in Kant); 
dialectic a way to virtue (in Plato and Socrates: evidently because 
Sophistry counted as the way to immorality); time and space ideal: 
conseguently "unity" in the essence of things; conseguently no "sin," no 
evil, no imperfection --a justification of God; Epicurus denied the 
possibility of knowledge, in order to retain moral (or hedonistic) 
values as the highest values. Augustine, later Pascal ("corrupted 
reason"), did the same for the benefit of Christian values; Descartes' 
contempt for everything that changes; also that of Spinoza 

579 (1883-1888) 

Psychology of metaphysics . --This world is apparent: conseguently there 
is a true world;--this world is conditional: conseguently there is an 
unconditioned world;--this world is full of contradiction: conseguently 
there is a world free of contradiction;-- this world is a world of 
becoming: conseguently there is a world of being:--all false conclusions 
(blind trust in reason: if A exists, then the opposite concept B must 
also exist) . It is suffering that inspires these conclusions: 
fundamentally they are desires that such a world should exist; in the 
same way, to imagine another, more valuable world is an expression of 
hatred for a world that makes one suffer: the ressentiment of 
metaphysicians against actuality is here creative. 

Second series of guestions: for what is there suf f ering?--and from this 
a conclusion is derived concerning the relation of the true world to our 
apparent, changing, suffering, contradictory world: (1) Suffering as a 
conseguence of error: how is error possible? (2) Suffering as a 
conseguence of guilt: how is guilt possible? (--experiences derived from 
nature or society universalized and projected to the sphere of "in- 
itself") . If, however, the conditioned world is causally conditioned by 
the unconditioned world, then freedom to err and incur guilt must also 
be conditioned by it: and again one asks, what for?--The world of 
appearance, becoming, contradiction, suffering, is therefore willed: 
what for? 

The error in these conclusions: two opposite concepts are constructed-- 
because one of them corresponds to a reality, the other "must" also 
correspond to a reality. "Whence should one derive this opposite concept 
if this were not so?"--Reason is thus a source of revelation concerning 
being-in-itself . 

But the origin of these antitheses need not necessarily go back to a 
supernatural source of reason: it is sufficient to oppose to it the real 
genesis of the concepts. This derives from the practical sphere, the 
sphere of utility; hence the strength of the faith it inspires (one 
would perish if one did not reason according to this mode of reason; but 
this is no "proof" of what it asserts) . 

The preoccupation with suffering on the part of metaphysicians--is guite 
naive. "Eternal bliss": psychological nonsense. Brave and creative men 
never consider pleasure and pain as ultimate values--they are 
epiphenomena : one must desire both if one is to achieve anything--. That 
they see the problem of pleasure and pain in the foreground reveals 
something weary and sick in metaphysicians and religious people. Even 
morality is so important to them only because they see in it an 
essential condition for the abolition of suffering. 

In the same way, their preoccupation with appearance and error: cause of 
suffering, superstition that happiness attends truth (confusion: 

happiness in "certainty", in "faith") . 

580 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

To what extent the basic epistemological positions (materialism, 
idealism) are consequences of evaluations: the source of the supreme 
feelings of pleasure ("feelings of value") as decisive also for the 
problem of reality! 

--The measure of positive knowledge is quite subsidiary or a matter of 
indifference: as witness the development of India. 

The Buddhistic negation of reality in general (appearance = suffering) 
is perfectly consistent: undemonstrability, inaccessibility, lack of 
categories not only for a " ' world-in-itself , " but an insight into the 
erroneous procedures by means of which this whole concept is arrived at. 
"Absolute reality," "being-in-itself " a contradiction. In a world of 
becoming, "reality" is always only a simplification for practical ends, 
or a deception through the coarseness of organs, or a variation in the 
tempo of becoming. 

Logical world-denial and nihilation follow from the fact that we have to 
oppose non-being with being and that the concept "becoming" is denied. 
("Something" becomes.) 

581 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Being and becoming . --"Reason" , evolved on a sensualistic basis, on the 
prejudices of the senses, i. e., in the belief in the truth of the 
judgments of the senses. 

"Being" as universalization of the concept "life" (breathing), "having a 
soul", "willing, effecting," "becoming". 

The antithesis is: "not to have a soul," "not to become," "not to 
will." Therefore: "being" is not the antithesis of non-being, 
appearance, nor even of the dead (for only something that can live can 
be dead) . 

The "soul," the "ego" posited as primeval fact, and introduced 
everywhere where there is any becoming. 

582 (1885-1887) 

Being--we have no idea of it apart from the idea of "living."-- How can 
anything dead "be"? 

583 (March-June 1888) 

( A ) 

I observe with astonishment that science has today resigned itself to 
the apparent world; a real world—whatever it may be like--we certainly 
have no organ for knowing it . 

At this point we may ask: by means of what organ of knowledge can we 
posit even this antithesis?-- 

That a world accessible to our organs is also understood to be dependent 
upon these organs, that we understand a world as being subjectively 
conditioned, is not to say that an objective world is at all possible. 

Who compels us to think that subjectivity is real, essential? 

The "in-itself" is even an absurd conception; a "constitutioning- 
itself" is nonsense; we possess the concept "being," "thing," only as a 
relational concept-- 

The worst thing is that with the old antithesis "apparent" and "true" 
the correlative value judgment "lacking in value" and "absolutely 
valuable" has developed. 

The apparent world is not counted as a "valuable" world; appearance is 
supposed to constitute an objection to supreme value. Only a "true" 
world can be valuable in itself-- 

Prejudice of prejudices! Firstly, it would be possible that the true 
constitution of things was so hostile to the presuppositions of life, so 
opposed to them, that we needed appearance in order to be able to live-- 
After all, this is the case in so many situations; e. g., in marriage. 

Our empirical world would be determined by the instincts of self- 
preservation even as regards the limits of its knowledge: we would 
regard as true, good, valuable that which serves the preservation of the 

a. We possess no categories by which we can distinguish a true from an 
apparent world. (There might only be an apparent world, but not our 
apparent world.) 

b. Assuming the true world, it could still be a world less valuable for 
us; precisely the guantum of illusion might be of a higher rank on 
account of its value for our preservation. (Unless appearance as such 
were grounds for condemnation?) 

c. That a correlation exists between degrees of value and degrees of 
reality (so that the supreme values also possess the supreme reality) is 
a metaphysical postulate proceeding from the presupposition that we know 
the order of rank of values; namely, that this order of rank is a moral 
order--Only with this presupposition is truth necessarily part of the 
definition of all the highest values. 

( B ) 

It is of cardinal importance that one should abolish the true world. It 
is the great inspirer of doubt and devaluator in respect of the world we 
are: it has been our most dangerous attempt yet to assassinate life. 

War on all presuppositions on the basis of which one has invented a true 
world. Among these is the presupposition that moral values are the 
supreme values. 

The supremacy of moral valuation would be refuted if it could be shown 
to be the conseguence of an immoral valuation --as a special case of 
actual immorality--it would thus reduce itself to an appearance, and as 
appearance it would cease to have any right as such to condemn 
appearance . 

( C ) 

The "will to truth" would then have to be investigated psychologically: 
it is not a moral force, but a form of the will to power. This would 
have to be proved by showing that it employs every immoral means: 

metaphysicians above all. 

We are today faced with testing the assertion that moral values are the 
supreme values. Method in investigation is attained only when all moral 
prejudices have been overcome : --it represents a victory over morality-- 

584 (March-June 1888) 

The aberration of philosophy is that, instead of seing in logic and the 
categories of reason means toward the adjustment of the world for 
utilitarian ends (basically, toward an expedient falsification), one 
believed one possessed in them the criterion of truth and reality. The 
"criterion of truth" was in fact merely the biological utility of such a 
system of systematic falsification; and since a species of animals knows 
of nothing more important than its own preservation, one might indeed be 
permitted to speak here of "truth." The naivete was to take an 
anthropocentric idiosyncrasy as the measure of things, as the rule for 
determining "real" and "unreal": in short, to make absolute something 
conditioned. And behold, suddenly the world fell apart into a "true" 
world and an "apparent" world: and precisely the world that man's reason 
had devised for him to live and settle in was discredited. Instead of 
employing the forms as a tool for making the world manageable and 
calculable, the madness of philosophers divined that in these categories 
is presented the concept of that world to which the one in which man 
lives does not correspond--The means were misunderstood as measures of 
value, even as a condemnation of their real intention-- 

The intention was to deceive oneself in a useful way; the means, the 
invention of formulas and signs by means of which one could reduce the 
confusing multiplicity to a purposive and manageable schema. 

But alas! now a moral category was brought into play: no creature wants 
to deceive itself, no creature may deceive--conseguently there is only a 
will to truth. What is "truth"? 

The law of contradiction provided the schema: the true world, to which 
one seeks the way, cannot contradict itself, cannot change, cannot 
become, has no beginning and no end. 

This is the greatest error that has ever been committed, the essential 
fatality of error on earth: one believed one possessed a criterion of 
reality in the forms of reason — while in fact one possessed them in 
order to become master of reality, in order to misunderstand reality in 
a shrewd manner — 

And behold: now the world became false, and precisely on account of the 
properties that constitute its reality: change, becoming, multiplicity, 
opposition, contradiction, war. And then the entire fatality was there: 

1. How can one get free from the false, merely apparent world? (--it was 
the real, the only ) 

2. how can one become oneself as much as possible the antithesis of the 
character of the apparent world? (Concept of the perfect creature as an 
antithesis to the real creature; more clearly, as the contradiction of 

The whole tendency of values was toward slander of life; one created a 
confusion of idealist dogmatism and knowledge in general: so that the 
opposing party also was always attacking science 

The road to science was in this way doubly blocked: once by belief in 
the "true" world, and again by the opponents of this belief. Natural 
science, psychology was (1) condemned with regard to its objects, (2) 
deprived of its innocence-- 

In the actual world, in which everything is bound to and conditioned by 
everything else, to condemn and think away anything means to condemn and 
think away everything. The expression "that should not be," "that should 
not have been," is farcical-- If one thinks out the conseguences, one 
would ruin the source of life if one wanted to abolish whatever was in 
some respect harmful or destructive. Physiology teaches us better! 

--We see how morality (a) poisons the entire conception of the world, 
(b) cuts off the road to knowledge, to science, (c) disintegrates and 
undermines all actual instincts (in that it teaches that their roots are 
immoral ) . 

We see at work before us a dreadful tool of decadence that props itself 
up by the holiest names and attitudes. 

585 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

Tremendous self-examination: becoming conscious of oneself, not as 
individuals but as mankind. Let us reflect, let us think back; let us 
follow the highways and byways! 

( A ) 

Man seeks "the truth" : a world that is not self -contradictory, not 
deceptive, does not change, a true world--a world in which one does not 
suffer; contradiction, deception, change — causes of suffering! He does 
not doubt that a world as it ought to be exists; he would like to seek 
out the road to it. (Indian critigue: e. g. the "ego" as apparent, as 
not real . ) 

Whence does man here derive the concept reality--Why is it that he 
derives suffering from change, deception, contradiction? and why not 
rather his happiness?-- 

Contempt, hatred for all that perishes, changes, varies-- whence comes 
this valuation of that which remains constant? Obviously, the will to 
truth is here merely the desire for a world of the constant. 

The senses deceive, reason corrects the errors; conseguently, one 
concluded, reason is the road to the constant; the least sensual ideas 
must be closest to the "true world. "--It is from the senses that most 
misfortunes come--they are deceivers, deluders, destroyers. — 

Happiness can be guaranteed only by being; change and happiness exclude 
one another. The highest desire therefore contemplates unity with what 
has being. This is the formula for: the road to the highest happiness. 

In summa: the world as it ought to be exists; this world, in which we 
live, is an error--this world of ours ought not to exist. 

Belief in what has being is only a conseguence: the real primum mobile 
is disbelief in becoming, mistrust of becoming, the low valuation of all 
that becomes-- 

What kind of man reflects in this way? An unproductive, suffering kind, 
a kind weary of life. If we imagine the opposite kind of man, he would 

not need to believe in what has being; more, he would despise it as 
dead, tedious, indif f erent — 

The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a 
belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it 
ought to be. They posit it as already available, they seek ways and 
means of reaching it. "Will to truth"--as the impotence of the will to 
create . 

To know that something is thus and thus: 

To act so that something becomes thus and thus: 

Antagonism in the degree of power in different natures. 

The fiction of a world that corresponds to our desires: psychological 
trick and interpretation with the aim of associating everything we honor 
and find pleasant with this true world. 

"Will to truth" at this stage is essentially an art of interpretation: 
which at least reguires the power to interpret. 

This same species of man, grown one stage poorer, no longer possessing 
the strength to interpret, to create fictions, produces nihilists. A 
nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to 
be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According 
to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no 
meaning: the pathos of "in vain" is the nihilists' pathos--at the same 
time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists. 

Whoever is incapable of laying his will into things, lacking will and 
strength, at least lays some meaning into them, i. e., the faith that 
there is a will in them already. 

It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what extent one can 
do without meaning in things, to what extent one can endure to live in a 
meaningless world because one organizes a small portion of it oneself. 

The philosophical objective outlook can therefore be a sign that will 
and strength are small. For strength organizes what is close and 
closest; "men of knowledge," who desire only to ascertain what is, are 
those who cannot fix anything as it ought to be. 

Artists, an intermediary species: they at least fix an image of that 
which ought to be; they are productive, to the extent that they actualy 
alter and transform; unlike men of knowledge, who leave everything as it 
is . 

Connection between philosophers and the pessimistic religions: the same 
species of man (--they ascribe the highest degree of reality to the most 
highly valued things--) . 

Connection between philosophers and moral men and their evaluations (— 
the moral interpretation of the world as meaning: after the decline of 
the religious meaning--) . 

Overcoming of philosophers through the destruction of the world of 
being: intermediary period of nihilism: before there is yet present the 
strength to reverse values and to deify becoming and the apparent world 
as the only world, and to call them good. 

( B ) 

Nihilism as a normal phenomenon can be a symptom of increasing strength 
or of increasing weakness: 

partly, because the strength to create, to will, has so increased that 
it no longer reguires these total interpretations and introductions of 
meaning ("present tasks," the state, etc.); 

partly because even the creative strength to create meaning has declined 
and disappointment becomes the dominant condition. The incapability of 
believing in a "meaning," "unbelief." 

What does science mean in regard to both possibilities? 

1 . As a sign of strength and self-control, as being able to do without 
healing, comforting worlds of illusion; 

2. as undermining, dissecting, disappointing, weakening. 

( C ) 

Belief in truth, the need to have a hold on something believed true, 
psychological reduction apart from all previous value feelings. Fear, 
laziness . 

The same way, unbelief: reduction. To what extent it acguires a new 
value if a true world does not exist (--thus the value feelings that 
hitherto have been sguandered on the world of being, are again set 
free) . 

586 (March-June 1888) 

The "True" and the "Apparent World" 

( A ) 

The seductions that occur from this concept are of three kinds 

a. an unknown world:--we are adventurers, inguisitive-- that which is 
known seems to weary us (--the danger of this Concept lies in its 
insinuation that "this" world is known to us--); 

b. another world, where things are different; something in us 
calculates, our still submission, our silence, lose their value-- 
perhaps everything will turn out well, we have not hoped in vain --the 
world where things are different, where we ourselves-- who knows?--are 
dif f erent-- 

c. a true world: this is the most amazing trick and attack that has ever 
been perpetrated upon us; so much has become encrusted in the word 
"true, " and involuntarily we make a present of all this to the "true 
world" : the true world must also be a truthful world, one that does not 
deceive us, does not make fools of us: to believe in it is virtually to 
be compelled to believe in it (--out of decency, as is the case among 
people worthy of confidence--) . 

The concept "the unknown world" insinuates that this world is "known" to 
us (is tedious--); 

the concept "another world" insinuates that the world could be 

otherwise--abolishes necessity and fate (useless to submit oneself--to 
adapt oneself--); 

the concept "the true world" insinuates that this world is untruthful, 
deceptive, dishonest, inauthentic, inessential--and consequently also 
not a world adapted to our needs 
(--inadvisable to adapt oneself to it; better to resist it) . 

We therefore elude "this" world in three ways: 

a. by our inquisitiveness--as if the more interesting part were 
elsewhere ; 

b. by our submission — as though it were not necessary to submit 
oneself — as if this world were not a necessity of the ultimate rank: 

c. by our sympathy and respect — as if this world did not deserve them, 
were impure, were not honest with us~ 

In summa: we have revolted in three ways: we have made an "x" into a 
critique of the "known world." 

( B ) 

First step toward sobriety: to grasp to what extent we have been 
seduced--for things could be exactly the reverse: 

a. the unknown world could be a stupid and meaner form of existence — and 
"this" world might be rather enjoyable by comparison; 

b. the other world, far from taking account of our desires which would 
find no fulfillment in it, could be among the mass of things that make 
this world possible for us: to get to know it might be a means of making 
us contented; 

c. the true world: but who is it really who tells us that the apparent 
world must be of less value than the true one? Does our instinct not 
contradict this judgment? Does man not eternally create a fictitious 
world for himself because he wants a better world than reality? Above 
all: how do we arrive at the idea that our world is not the true 
world?--it could be that the other world is the "apparent" one (in fact 
the Greeks thought of, e. g., a shadow kingdom, an apparent existence, 
beside true existence) . And finally: what gives us the right to posit, 
as it were, degrees of reality? This is something different from an 
unknown world-- it is already a wanting to know something of the 
unknown-- The "other," the "unknown" world — very good! But to say "true 
world" means "to know something of it"--That is the opposite of the 
assumption of an "x" world-- 

In summa: the world "x" could be in every sense more tedious, less 
human, and less worthy than this world. 

It would be another thing to assert the existence of "x" worlds, i. e., 
of every possible world besides this one. But this has never been 

( C ) 

Problem: why the notion of another world has always been unfavorable 
for, or critical of "this" world--what does this indicate?-- 

For a people proud of itself, whose life is ascending, always thinks of 
another kind of being as a lower, less valuable kind of being; it 
regards the strange, the unknown world as its enemy, as its opposite; it 
feels no inguisitiveness, it totally rejects the strange--A people would 
never admit that another people was the "true people. "-- 

It is symptomatic that such a distinction should be at all possible-- 
that one takes this world for the "apparent" one and the other world as 
"true. " 

The places of origin of the notion of "another world": the philosopher, 
who invents a world of reason, where reason and the logical functions 
are adeguate: this is the origin of the "true" world; 

the religious man, who invents a "divine world" : this is the origin of 
the "denaturalized, anti- natural" world; 

the moral man, who invents a "free world": this is the origin of the 
"good, perfect, just, holy" world. 

What the three places of origin have in common: the psycho-logical 
blunder, the physiological confusions. 

By what attributes is the "other world," as it actually appears in 
history, distinguished? By the stigmata of philosophical, religious, 
moral prejudice. 

The "other world," as illumined by these facts, as a synonym for 
nonbeing, nonliving, not wanting to live-- 

General insight: it is the instinct of life-weariness, and not that of 
life, which has created the "other world." 

Conseguence: philosophy, religion, and morality are symptoms of 
decadence . 

11. Biological Value of Knowledge 

587 (1885-1886) 

It might seem as though I had evaded the guestion of "certainty." The 
opposite is true; but by inguiring after the criterion of certainty I 
tested the scales upon which men have weighed in general hitherto--and 
that the guestion of certainty itself is a dependent guestion, a 
guestion of the second rank. 

588 (1883-1886) 

The guestion of values is more fundamental than the guestion of 
certainty: the latter becomes serious only by presupposing that the 
value guestion has already been answered. 

Being and appearance, psychologically considered, yield no "being-in- 
itself , , no criterion of "reality, " but only for grades of appearance 
measured by the strength of the interest we show in an appearance. 

There is no struggle for existence between ideas and perceptions but a 
struggle for dominion: the idea that is overcome is not annihilated, 
only driven back or subordinated. There is no annihilation in the sphere 
of spirit-- 

589 (1885-1886) 

"Ends and means" "Cause and effect" "Subject and object" "Acting and 
suffering" "Thing-in-itself and appearance" 

as interpretations (not as facts) and to what extent perhaps necessary 
interpretations? (as reguired for "preservation" ) --all in the sense of a 
will to power . 

590 (1885-1886) 

Our values are interpreted into things. Is there then any meaning in the 
in-itself? ! Is meaning not necessarily relative meaning and 
perspective? All meaning is will to power 
(all relative meaning resolves itself into it) . 

591 (1885) 

The desire for "solid facts" epistemology : how much pessimism there is 
in it ! 

592 (1883-1888) 

The antagonism between the "true world, " as revealed by pessimism, and a 
world possible for life--here one must test the rights of truth. It is 
necessary to measure the meaning of all these "ideal drives" against 
life to grasp what this antagonism really is: the struggle of sickly, 
despairing life that cleaves to a beyond, with healthier, more stupid 
and mendacious, richer, less degenerate life. Therefore it is not 
"truth" in struggle with life but one kind of life in struggle with 
another . --But it wants to be the higher kind!-- Here one must 
demonstrate the need for an order of rank--that the first problem is the 
order of rank of different kinds of life, 

593 (1885-1886) 

To transform the belief "it is thus and thus" into the will "it shall 
become thus and thus . " 

12 . Science 

594 (1883-1888) 

Science--this has been hitherto a way of putting an end to the complete 
confusion in which things exist, by hypotheses that "explain" 
everything--so it has come from the intellect's dislike of chaos. --This 
same dislike seizes me when I consider myself: I should like to form an 
image of the inner world too, by means of some schema, and thus triumph 
over intellectual confusion. Morality has been a simplification of this 
kind: it taught that men were known, familiar . --Now we have destroyed 
morality--we have again become completely obscure to ourselves! I know 
that I know nothing of myself. Physics proves to be a boon for the 
heart: science (as the way to knowledge) acguires a new charm after 
morality has been eliminated--and because it is here alone that we find 
consistency, we have to construct our life so as to preserve it. This 
yields a sort of practical reflection on the conditions of our existence 
as men of knowledge. 

595 (1884) 

Our presuppositions: no God: no purpose: finite force. Let us guard 

against thinking out and prescribing the mode of thought necessary to 
lesser men ! ! 

596 (1886-1887) 

No "moral education" of the human race: but an enforced schooling in 
[scientific] errors is needed, because "truth" disgusts and makes one 
sick of life--unless man is already irrevocably launched upon his path 
and has taken his honest insight upon himself with a tragic pride. 

597 (1886-1887) 

The presupposition of scientific work: belief in the unity and 
perpetuity of scientific work, so the individual may work at any part, 
however small, confident that his work will not be in vain. 

There is one great paralysis: to work in vain, to struggle in vain. 

The accumulative epochs, in which force and means of power are 
discovered that the future will one day make use of; science an 
intermediary station, at which the more intermediary, more multifarious, 
more complicated natures find their most natural discharge and 
satisf action--all those who should avoid action. 

598 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A philosopher recuperates differently and with different means: he 
recuperates, e. g., with nihilism. Belief that there is no truth at all, 
the nihilistic belief, is a great relaxation for one who, as a warrior 
of knowledge, is ceaselessly fighting ugly truths. For truth is ugly. 

599 (1885-1886) 

The "meaninglessness of events": belief in this is the conseguence of an 
insight into the falsity of previous interpretations, a generalization 
of discouragement and weakness—not a necessary belief. 

The immodesty of man: to deny meaning where he sees none. 

600 (1885-1886) 

No limit to the ways in which the world can be interpreted; every 
interpretation a symptom of growth or of decline. 

Inertia needs unity (monism) ; plurality of interpretations a sign of 
strength. Not to desire to deprive the world of its disturbing and 
enigmatic character! 

601 (1885-1886) 

Against peaceableness and the desire for reconciliation. The attempt at 
monism belongs here. 

602 (1884) 

This perspective world, this world for the eye, tongue, and ear, is very 
false, even if compared for a very much more subtle sense-apparatus. But 
its intelligibility, comprehensibility, practicability, and beauty begin 
to cease if we refine our senses; just as beauty ceases when we think 
about historical processes; the order of purpose is already an illusion. 
It suffices that the more superficially and coarsely it is conceived, 

the more valuable, definite, beautiful, and significant the world 
appears. The deeper one looks, the more our valuations disappear-- 
meaninglessness approaches! We have created the world that possesses 
values! Knowing this, we know, too, that reverence for truth is already 
the conseguence of an illusion--and that one should value more than 
truth the force that forms, simplifies, shapes, invents. 

"Everything is false! Everything is permitted!" 

Only with a certain obtuseness of vision, a will to simplicity, does the 
beautiful, the "valuable" appear: in itself, it is I know not what. 

603 (1885) 

That the destruction of an illusion does not produce truth-- but only 
one more piece of ignorance, an extension of our "empty space, an 
increase of our "desert"-- 

604 ( 1885-1886) 

"Interpretation," the introduction of meaning not "explanation" (in most 
cases a new interpretation over an old interpretation that has become 
incomprehensible, that is now itself only a sign) . There are no facts, 
everything is in flux, incomprehensible, elusive; what is relatively 
most enduring is — our opinions. 

605 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The ascertaining of "truth" and "untruth, " the ascertaining of facts in 
general, is fundamentally different from creative positing, from 
forming, shaping, overcoming, willing, such as is of the essence of 
philosophy. To introduce a meaning--this task still remains to be done, 
assuming there is no meaning yet. Thus it is with sounds, but also with 
the fate of peoples: they are capable of the most different 
interpretations and direction toward different goals. 

On a yet higher level is to posit a goal and mold facts according to it; 
that is, active interpretation and not merely conceptual translation. 

606 (1885-1886) 

Ultimately, man finds in things nothing but what he himself has imported 
into them: the finding is called science, the importing --art, religion, 
love, pride. Even if this should be a piece of childishness, one should 
carry on with both and be well disposed toward both--some should find; 
others--we others ! --should import! 

607 (Spring-Fall 1886) 

Science: its two sides: in regard to the individual; in regard to the 
cultural complex (level); 

--valuations from one side or the other are mutually antagonistic. 

608 (1886-1887) 

The development of science resolves the "familiar" more and more into 
the unfamiliar : --it desires, however, the reverse, and proceeds from the 
instinct to trace the unfamiliar back to the familiar. 

In summa, science is preparing a sovereign ignorance, a feeling that 

there is no such thing as "knowing, " that it was a kind of arrogance to 
dream of it, more, that we no longer have the least notion that warrants 
our considering "knowledge" even a possibility--that "knowing" itself is 
a contradictory idea. We translate a primeval mythology and vanity of 
mankind into the hard fact: "knowledge-in-itself " is as impermissible a 
concept as is "thing-initself . " Seduction by "number and logic," 
seduction by "laws." 

"Wisdom" as the attempt to get beyond perspective valuations (i. e., 
beyond the "will to power") : a principle hostile to life and decadent, a 
symptom as among the Indians, etc., of the weakening of the power of 
appropriation . 

609 (1884) 

It is not enough that you understand in what ignorance man and beast 
live; you must also have and acguire the will to ignorance. You need to 
grasp that without this kind of ignorance life itself would be 
impossible, that it is a condition under which alone the living thing 
can preserve itself and prosper: a great, firm dome of ignorance must 
encompass you. 

610 (1884) 

Science--the transformation of nature into concepts for the purpose of 
mastering nature--belongs under the rubric "means." 

But the purpose and will of man must grow in the same way, the intention 
in regard to the whole. 

611 (1883-1888) 

We find that the strongest and most constantly employed faculty at all 
stages of life is thought--even in every act of perceiving and apparent 
passivity! Evidently, it thus becomes most powerful and demanding, and 
in the long run it tyrannizes over all other forces. Finally it becomes 
"passion-in-itself. " 

612 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

To win back for the man of knowledge the right to great affects! after 
self-effacement and the cult of "objectivity" have created a false order 
of rank in this sphere, too. Error reached its peak when Schopenhauer 
taught: the only way to the "true," to knowledge, lies precisely in 
getting free from affects, from will; the intellect liberated from will 
cannot but see the true, real essence of things. 

The same error in arte as if everything were beautiful as soon as it is 
viewed without will. 

613 (Fall 1888) 

Competition between affects and the dominion of one of the affects over 
the intellect . 

614 (1884) 

To "humanize" the world, i. e., to feel ourselves more and more masters 
within it — 

615 (1884) 

Among a higher kind of creatures, knowledge, too, will acguire new forms 
that are not yet needed. 

616 (1885-1886) 

That the value of the world lies in our interpretation (--that other 
interpretations than merely human ones are perhaps somewhere 
possible--); that previous interpretations have been perspective 
valuations by virtue of which we can survive in life, i. e., in the will 
to power, for the growth of power; that every elevation of man brings 
with it the overcoming of narrower interpretations; that every 
strengthening and increase of power opens up new perspectives and means 
believing in new horizons--this idea permeates my writings. The world 
with which we are concerned is false, i. e., is not a fact but a fable 
and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is 
"in flux," as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always 
changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no "truth." 

617 (1883-1885) 

To impose upon becoming the character of being--that is the supreme will 
to power . 

Twofold falsification, on the part of the senses and of the spirit, to 
preserve a world of that which is, which abides, which is eguivalent, 
etc . 

That everything recurs is the closest approximation of a world of 
becoming to a world of being:--high point of the meditation. 

From the values attributed to being proceed the condemnation of and 
discontent with becoming, after such a world of being had first been 
invented . 

The metamorphoses of what has being (body, God, ideas, laws of nature, 
formulas, etc . ) 

"Beings" as appearance; reversal of values; appearance was that which 
conferred value--. 

Knowledge-in-itself in a world of becoming is impossible; so how is 
knowledge possible? As error concerning oneself, as will to power, as 
will to deception. 

Becoming as invention, willing, self-denial, overcoming of oneself: no 
subject but an action, a positing, creative, no "causes and effects." 

Art as the will to overcome becoming, as "eternalization, " but 
shortsighted, depending on the perspective: repeating in miniature, as 
it were, the tendency of the whole. 

Regarding that which all life reveals as a diminutive formula for the 
total tendency; hence a new definition of the concept "life" as will to 
power . 

Instead of "cause and effect" the mutual struggle of that which becomes, 
often with the absorption of one's opponent; the number of becoming 
elements not constant. 

Uselessness of old ideals for the interpretation of the totality of 

events, once one knows the animal origin and utility of these ideals; 
all, moreover, contradictory to life. 

Uselessness of the mechanistic theory--it gives the impression of 
meaninglessness . 

The entire idealism of mankind hitherto is on the point of changing 
suddenly into nihilism--into the belief in absolute worthlessness, i. 
e., meaninglessness. 

The destruction of ideals, the new desert; new arts by means of which we 
can endure it, we amphibians. 

- Presupposition: bravery, patience, no "turning back," no haste to go 
forward. (N. B. Zarathustra adopts a parodistic attitude toward all 
former values as a conseguence of his abundance.) 







I . Order of Rank 

1. The Doctrine of Order of Rank 

858 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

What determines your rank is the guantum of power you are: the rest is 
cowardice . 

862 (1884) 

A doctrine is needed powerful enough to work as a breeding agent: 
strengthening the strong, paralyzing and destructive for the world- 
weary . 

The annihilation of the decaying races. Decay of Europe.-- The 
annihilation of slavish evaluations.-- Dominion over the earth as a 
means of producing a higher type.-- The annihilation of the tartuffery 
called "morality" (Christianity as a hysterical kind of honesty in this: 
Augustine, Bunyan) .-- The annihilation of suffrage universel; i. e., the 
system through which the lowest natures prescribe themselves as laws for 
the higher.-- The annihilation of mediocrity and its acceptance. (The 
one-sided, individuals--peoples ; to strive for fullness of nature 
through the pairing of opposites: race mixture to this end) .-- The new 
courage—no a priori truths (such truths were sought by those accustomed 
to faith!), but a free subordination to a ruling idea that has its time: 
e. g., time as a property of space, etc. 

2 . The Strong and the Weak 

871 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

The victorious and unbridled: their depressive influence on the value of 
the desires. It was the dreadful barbarism of custom that, especially in 
the Middle Ages, compelled the creation of a veritable "league of 
virtue"--together with an egually dreadful exaggeration of that which 
constitutes the value of man. Struggling "civilization" (taming) needs 
every kind of irons and torture to maintain itself against terribleness 
and beast-of-prey natures. 

Here a confusion is guite natural, although its influence has been 
fatal: that which men of power and will are able to demand of themselves 
also provides a measure of that which they may permit themselves. Such 
natures are the antithesis of the vicious and unbridled: although they 
may on occasion do things that would convict a lesser man of vice and 
immoderation . 

Here the concept of the "egual value of men before God" is 
extraordinarily harmful; one forbade actions and attitudes that were in 
themselves among the prerogatives of the strongly constituted--as if 
they were in themselves unworthy of men. One brought the entire tendency 
of the strong into disrepute when one erected the protective measures of 
the weakest (those who were weakest also when confronting themselves) as 
a norm of value. 

Confusion went so far that one branded the very virtuosi of life (whose 
autonomy offered the sharpest antithesis to the vicious and unbridled) 
with the most opprobrious names. Even now one believes one must 
disapprove of a Cesare Borgia; that is simply laughable. The church has 
excommunicated German emperors on account of their vices: as if a monk 
or priest had any right to join in a discussion about what a Frederick 
II may demand of himself. A Don Juan is sent to hell: that is very 
naive. Has it been noticed that in heaven all interesting men are 
missing?-- Just a hint to the girls as to where they can best find their 
salvation.-- If one reflects with some consistency, and moreover with a 
deepened insight into what a "great man" is, no doubt remains that the 
church sends all "great men" to hell--it fights against all "greatness 
of man . " 

877 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

The revolution made Napoleon possible: that is its justification. For 
the sake of a similar prize one would have to desire the anarchical 
collapse of our entire civilization. Napoleon made nationalism possible: 
that is its excuse. 

The value of a man (apart from his morality or immorality, naturally; 
for with these concepts the value of a man is not even touched) does not 
reside in his utility; for it would continue to exist even if there were 
no one to whom he could be of any use. And why could not precisely that 
man who produced the most disastrous effects be the pinnacle of the 
whole species of man: so high, so superior that everything would perish 
from envy of him? 

893 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Hatred of mediocrity is unworthy of a philosopher: it is almost a 
guestion mark against his "right to philosophy." Precisely because he is 
an exception he has to take the rule under his protection, he has to 
keep the mediocre in good heart. 

898 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

The strong of the future.-- That which partly necessity, partly chance 
has achieved here and there, the conditions for the production of a 
stronger type, we are now able to comprehend and consciously will: we 
are able to create the conditions under which such an elevation is 
possible . 

Until now, "education" has had in view the needs of society: not the 
possible needs of the future, but the needs of the society of the day. 
One desired to produce "tools" for it. Assuming the wealth of force were 
greater, one could imagine forces being subtracted, not to serve the 
needs of society but some future need. 

Such a task would have to be posed the more it was grasped to what 
extent the contemporary form of society was being so powerfully 
transformed that at some future time it would be unable to exist for its 
own sake alone, but only as a tool in the hands of a stronger race. 

The increasing dwarfing of man is precisely the driving force that 
brings to mind the breeding of a stronger race—a race that would be 
excessive precisely where the dwarfed species was weak and growing 
weaker (in will, responsibility, self-assurance, ability to posit goals 
for oneself ) . 

The means would be those history teaches: isolation through interests in 
preservation that are the reverse of those which are average today; 
habituation to reverse evaluations; distance as a pathos; a free 
conscience in those things that today are most undervalued and 
prohibited . 

The homogenizing of European man is the great process that cannot be 
obstructed: one should even hasten it. The necessity to create a gulf, 
distance, order of rank, is given eo ipso--not the necessity to retard 
the process. 

As soon as it is established, this homogenizing species reguires a 
justification: it lies in serving a higher sovereign species that stands 
upon the former and can raise itself to its task only by doing this. Not 
merely a master race whose sole task is to rule, but a race with its own 
sphere of life, with an excess of strength for beauty, bravery, culture, 
manners to the highest peak of the spirit; an affirming race that may 
grant itself every great luxury — strong enough to have no need of the 
tyranny of the virtue-imperative, rich enough to have no need of thrift 
and pedantry, beyond good and evil; a hothouse for strange and choice 
plants . 

>> new barbarians >> cynics {experimenters} conguerors >> union of 
spiritual superiority with well-being and an excess of strength >> 

899 (1885) 

Our psychologists, whose glance lingers involuntarily on symptoms of 
decadence alone, again and again induce us to mistrust the spirit. One 
always sees only those effects of the spirit that make men weak, 
delicate, and morbid; but now there are coming 

new barbarians cynics {experimenters} conquerors union of spiritual 
superiority with well-being and an excess of strength. 

900 (1885) 

I point to something new: certainly for such a democratic type there 
exists the danger of the barbarian, but one has looked for it only in 
the depths. There exists also another type of barbarian, who comes from 
the heights: a species of conquering and ruling natures in search of 
material to mold. Prometheus was this kind of barbarian. 

909 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

The typical forms of self -formation . Or: the eight principal questions. 

1. Whether one wants to be more multifarious or simpler? 

2. Whether one wants to become happier or more indifferent to happiness 
and unhappiness? 

3. Whether one wants to become more contented with oneself or more 
exacting and inexorable? 

4. Whether one wants to become softer, more yielding, more human, or 
more "inhuman"? 

5. Whether one wants to become more prudent or more ruthless? 

6. Whether one wants to reach a goal or to avoid all goals (as, e. g., 
the philosopher does who smells a boundary, a nook, a prison, a 
stupidity in every goal)? 

7. Whether one wants to become more respected or more feared? Or more 

8. Whether one wants to become tyrant or seducer or shepherd or herd 

910 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Types of my disciples.-- To those human beings who are of any concern to 
me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities--I 
wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self -contempt , 
the torture of self -mistrust , the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have 
no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove 
today whether one is worth anything or not--that one endures. [The note 
continues in Nietzsche's MS: "I have not yet got to know any idealist, 
but many liars- — "] 

916 (1884; rev. Spring-Fall 1888) 

What has been ruined by the church's misuse of it: 

1. asceticism: one has hardly the courage so far to display its natural 
utility, its indispensability in the service of the education of the 
will. Our absurd pedagogic world, before which the "useful civil 
servant" hovers as a model, thinks it can get by with "instruction," 
with brain drill; it has not the slightest idea that something else is 
needed f irst--education of will power; one devises tests for everything 
except for the main thing: whether one can will, whether one may 
promise; the young man finishes school without a single question, 
without any curiosity even, concerning this supreme value-problem of his 

2. fasting: in every sense—even as a means of preserving the delicacy 
of one's ability to enjoy all good things (e. g., occasionally to stop 
reading, listening to music, being pleasant; one must have fast days for 

one's virtues, too); 

3. the "monastery": temporary isolation, accompanied by strict refusal, 
e. g., of letters; a kind of most profound self-reflection and self- 
recovery that desires to avoid, not "temptations," but "duties": an 
escape from the daily round; a detachment from they tyranny of stimuli 
and influences that condemns us to spend our strength in nothing but 
reactions and does not permit the accumulation to the point of 
spontaneous activity (one should observe our scholars from close up: 
they think only reactively; i. e., they have to read before they can 
think ) ; 

4. feasts: One has to be very coarse in order not to feel the presence 
of Christians and Christian values as an oppression beneath which all 
genuine festive feelings go to the devil. Feasts include: pride, 
exuberance, wantonness; mockery of everything serious and Philistine; a 
divine affirmation of oneself out of animal plenitude and perfection-- 
one and all states which the Christian cannot honestly welcome. The 
feast is paganism par excellence; 

5. courage confronted with one's own nature: dressing up in "moral 
costumes.-- That one has no need of moral formulas in order to welcome 
an affect; standard: how far we can affirm what is nature in us--how 
much or how little we need to have recourse to morality; 

6. death-- One must convert the stupid physiological fact into a moral 
necessity. So to live that one can also will at the right time to die! 

918 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

One would make a fit little boy stare if one asked him: "Would you like 
to become virtuous?"-- but he will open his eyes wide if asked: "Would 
you like to become stronger than your friends?"-- 

3. The Noble Man 

941 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

The meaning of our gardens and palaces (and to this extent also the 
meaning of all desire for riches) is to remove disorder and vulgarity 
from sight and to build a home for nobility of soul. 

The majority, to be sure, believe they will acguire higher natures when, 
those beautiful, peaceful objects have operated upon them: hence the 
rush to go to Italy and on travels, etc.; all reading and visits to 
theaters. They want to have themselves formed--that is the meaning of 
their cultural activity! But the strong, the mighty want to form and no 
longer to have anything foreign about them! 

Thus men also plunge into wild nature, not to find themselves but to 
lose and forget themselves in it. "To be outside oneself" as the desire 
of all the weak and the self-discontented. 

942 (1885) 

There is only nobility of birth, only nobility of blood. (I am not 
speaking here of the little word "von" or of the Almanach de Gotha 
[Genealogy reference book of the royal families of Europe.] : parenthesis 
for asses.) When one speaks of "aristocrats of the spirit," reasons are 
usually not lacking for concealing something; as is well known, it is a 
favorite term among ambitious Jews. For spirit alone does not make 

noble; rather, there must be something to ennoble the spirit.-- What 
then is required? Blood. 

949 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

That one stakes one's life, one's health, one's honor, is the 
consequence of high spirits and an overflowing, prodigal will: not from 
love of man but because every great danger challenges our curiosity 
about the degree of our strength and our courage. 

4. The Masters of the Earth 

958 (1884) 

I write for a species of man that does not yet exist: for the "masters 
of the earth . " 

Religions, as consolations and relaxations, dangerous: man believes he 
has a right to take his ease. 

In Plato's Theages it is written: "Each one of us would like to be 
master over all men, if possible, and best of all God." This attitude 
must exist again. 

Englishmen, Americans, and Russians 

960 (1885-1886) 

From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more 
comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And 
even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been 
established for the production of international racial unions whose task 
will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; --a 
new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in 
which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be 
made to endure for millennia--a higher kind of man who, thanks to their 
superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic 
Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of 
the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself. 
Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning. 

5. The Great Human Being 

966 (1884) 

In contrast to the animals, man has cultivated an abundance of contrary 
drives and impulses within himself: thanks to this synthesis, he is 
master of the earth.-- Moralities are the expression of locally limited 
orders of rank in his multifarious world of drives, so man should not 
perish through their contradictions. Thus a drive as master, its 
opposite weakened, refined, as the impulse that provides the stimulus 
for the activity of the chief drive. 

The highest man would have the greatest multiplicity of drives, in the 
relatively greatest strength that can be endured. Indeed, where the 
plant "man" shows himself strongest one finds instincts that conflict 
powerfully (e. g., in Shakespeare), but are controlled. 

6 . The Highest Man as Legislator of the Future 
981 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Not to make men "better, " not to preach morality to them in any form, as 
if "morality in itself," or any ideal kind of man, were given; but to 
create conditions that require stronger men who for their part need, and 
consequently will have, a morality (more clearly: a physical-spiritual 
discipline) that makes them strong! 

Not to allow oneself to be misled by blue eyes or heaving bosoms: 
greatness of soul has nothing romantic about it. And unfortunately 
nothing at all amiable. 

984 (1884) 

Greatness of soul is inseparable from greatness of spirit. For it 
involves independence; but in the absence of spiritual greatness, 
independence ought not to be allowed, it causes mischief, even through 
its desire to do good and practice "justice." Small spirits must obey-- 
hence cannot possess greatness. 

II . Dionysus 

1003 (Jan. -Fall 1888) 

To him who has turned out well, who does my heart good, carved from wood 
that is hard, gentle, and fragrant--in whom even the nose takes 
pleasure--this book is dedicated. 

He enjoys the taste of what is wholesome for him; 

his pleasure in anything ceases when the bounds of the wholesome are 

he divines the remedies for partial injuries; he has illnesses as great 
stimulants of his life; 

he knows how to exploit ill chances; 

he grows stronger through the accidents that threaten to destroy him; 

he instinctively gathers from all that he sees, hears, experiences, what 
advances his main concern— he follows a principle of selection--he 
allows much to fall through; 

he reacts with the slowness bred by a long caution and a deliberate 
pride--he tests a stimulus for its origin and its intentions, he does 
not submit; 

he is always in his own company, whether he deals with books, men, or 

he honors by choosing, by admitting, by trusting. 

1007 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

To revalue values — what would that mean? All the spontaneous— new, 
future, stronger— movements must be there; but they still appear under 
false names and valuations and have not yet become conscious of 
themselves . 

A courageous becoming-conscious and affirmation of what has been 
achieved--a liberation from the slovenly routine of old valuations that 

dishonor us in the best and strongest things we have achieved. 

1017 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

In place of the "natural man" of Rousseau, the nineteenth century has 
discovered a truer image of "man"--it has had the courage to do so.-- On 
the whole, the Christian concept "man" has thus been reinstated. What 
one has not had the courage for is to call this "man in himself" good 
and to see in him the guarantee of the future. Neither has one dared to 
grasp that an increase in the terribleness of man is an accompaniment of 
every increase in culture; in this, one is still subject to the 
Christian ideal and takes its side against paganism, also against the 
Renaissance concept of virtu. But the key to culture is not to be found 
in this way: and in praxis one retains the falsification of history in 
favor of the "good man" (as if he alone constituted the progress of man) 
and the socialist ideal (i. e., the residue of Christianity and of 
Rousseau in the de-Christianized world) . 

The struggle against the eighteenth century: its supreme overcoming by 
Goethe and Napoleon. Schopenhauer, too, struggles against it; but he 
involuntarily steps back into the seventeenth century--he is a modern 
Pascal, with Pascalian value judgments without Christianity. 
Schopenhauer was not strong enough for a new Yes. 

Napoleon: insight that the higher and the terrible man necessarily 
belong together. The "man" reinstated; the woman again accorded her due 
tribute of contempt and fear. "Totality" as health and highest activity; 
the straight line, the grand style in action rediscovered; the most 
powerful instinct, that of life itself, the lust to rule, affirmed. 

1023 (March-June 1888) 

Pleasure appears where there is the feeling of power. 

Happiness: in the triumphant consciousness of power and victory. 

Progress: the strengthening of the type, the ability for great willing; 
everything else is misunderstanding, danger. 

1026 (Summer-Fall 1883) 

Not "happiness follows virtue"--but the more powerful man first 
designates his happy state as virtue. 

Evil actions belong to the powerful and virtuous: bad, base ones to the 

The most powerful man, the creator, would have to be the most evil, in 
as much as he carries his ideal against the ideals of other men and 
remakes them in his own image. Evil here means: hard, painful, enforced. 

Such men as Napoleon must come again and again and confirm the belief in 
the autocracy of the individual: but he himself was corrupted by the 
means he had to employ and lost noblesse of character. If he had had to 
prevail among a different kind of man he could have employed other 
means; and it would thus not seem to be a necessity for a Caesar to 
become bad. 

1028 (Spring-Fall 1887) 

Terribleness is part of greatness: let us not deceive ourselves. 

1038 (March-Fall 1888) 

--And how many new gods are still possible! As for myself, in whom the 
religious, that is to say god-forming, instinct occasionally becomes 
active at impossible times--how differently, how variously the divine 
has revealed itself to me each time! 

So many strange things have passed before me in those timeless moments 
that fall into one's life as if from the moon, when one no longer has 
any idea how old one is or how young one will yet be--I should not doubt 
that there are many kinds of gods-- There are some one cannot imagine 
without a certain halcyon and frivolous guality in their makeup-- 
Perhaps light feet are even an integral part of the concept :god-- Is it 
necessary to elaborate that a god prefers to stay beyond everything 
bourgeois and rational? and, between ourselves, also beyond good and 
evil? His prospect of free--in Goethe's words.-- And to call upon the 
inestimable authority of Zarathustra in this instance: Zarathustra goes 
so far as to confess: "I would believe only in a God who could dance"-- 

To repeat: how many new gods are still possible! Zarathustra himself, to 
be sure, is merely an old atheist: he believes neither in old nor in new 
gods. Zarathustra says he would; but Zarathustra will not-- Do not 
misunderstand him. 

The type of God after the type of creative spirits, of "great men." 

1049 (1885-1886) 

Apollo's deception: the eternity of beautiful forms; the aristocratic 
legislation, "thus shall it be for ever!" 

Dionysus: sensuality and cruelty. Transitoriness could be interpreted as 
enjoyment of productive and destructive force, as continual creation. 

III. The Eternal Recurrence 

1053 (1884) 

My philosophy brings the triumphant idea of which all other modes of 
thought will ultimately perish. It is the great cultivating idea: the 
races that cannot bear it stand condemned; those who find it the 
greatest benefit are chosen to rule. 

1054 (1885-1886) 

The greatest of struggles: for this a new weapon is needed. 

The hammer: to provoke a fearful decision, to confront Europe with the 
conseguences : whether its will "wills" destruction. 

Prevention of reduction to mediocrity. Rather destruction! 

1055 (1885) 

A pessimistic teaching and way of thinking, an ecstatic nihilism, can 
under certain conditions be indispensable precisely to the philosopher-- 
as a mighty pressure and hammer with which he breaks and removes 
degenerate and decaying races to make way for a new order of life, or to 
implant into that which is degenerate and desires to die a longing for 
the end. 

1056 (1884) 

I want to teach the idea that gives many the right to erase themselves-- 
the great cultivating idea. 

1057 (1883-1888) 

The eternal recurrence. A prophecy. [In the MS: "A Book of Prophecy." In 
the so-called Grossoktav edition of 1911, p. 514, this section 
represents the plan for a book, The Eternal Recurrence.] 

1. Presentation of the doctrine and its theoretical presuppositions and 
conseguences . 

2. Proof of the doctrine. 

3. Probable conseguences of its being believed (it makes everything 
break open) . a) Means of enduring it; b) Means of disposing it. 

4. Its place in history as a mid-point. Period of greatest danger. 
Foundation of an oligarchy above peoples and their interests: education 
to a universally human politics. Counterpart of Jesuitism. 

1058 (1883-1888) 

The two great philosophical points of view (devised by Germans) : 

a) that of becoming, of development, b) that according to the value of 
existence (but the wretched form of German pessimism must first be 
overcome !) --both brought together by me in a decisive way. 

Everything becomes and recurs eternally--escape is impossible ! -- 
Supposing we could judge value, what follows? The idea of recurrence as 
a selective principle, in the service of strength (and barbarism! !) . 

Ripeness of man for this idea. 

1059 (1884) 

1. The idea [of the eternal recurrence] : the presuppositions that would 
have to be true if it were true. Its conseguences. 

2. As the hardest idea: its probable effect if it were not prevented, i. 
e., if all values were not revalued. 

3. Means of enduring it: the revaluation of all values. No longer joy in 
certainty but uncertainty; no longer "cause and effect" but the 
continually creative; no longer will to preservation but to power; no 
longer the humble expression, "everything is merely subjective," but "it 
is also our work!-- Let us be proud of it!" 

1060 (1884) 

To endure the idea of the recurrence one needs: freedom from morality; 
new means against the fact of pain (pain conceived as a tool, as the 
father of pleasure; there is no cumulative consciousness of 
displeasure); the enjoyment of all kinds of uncertainty, 

experimentalism, as a counterweight to this extreme fatalism; abolition 
of the concept of necessity; abolition of the "will"; abolition of 
"knowledge-in-itself . " 

Greatest elevation of the consciousness of strength in man, as he 
creates the overman. 

1061 (1887-1888) 

The two most extreme modes of thought--the mechanistic and the 
Platonic--are reconciled in the eternal recurrence: both as ideals. 

1062 (1885) 

If the world had a goal, it must have been reached. If there were for it 
some unintended final state, this also must have been reached. If it 
were in any way capable of a pausing and becoming fixed, of "being, " 
then all becoming would long since have come to an end, along with all 
thinking, all "spirit." The fact of "spirit" as a form of becoming 
proves that the world has no goal, no final state, and is incapable of 
being . 

The old habit, however, of associating a goal with every event and a 
guiding, creative God with the world, is so powerful that it reguires an 
effort for a thinker not to fall into thinking of the very aimlessness 
of the world as intended. This notion--that the world intentionally 
avoids a goal and even knows artifices for keeping itself from entering 
into a circular course— must occur to all those who would like to force 
on the world the ability for eternal novelty, i. e., on a finite, 
definite, unchangeable force of constant size, such as the world is, the 
miraculous power of infinite novelty in its forms and states. The world, 
even if it is no longer a god, is still supposed to be capable of the 
divine power of creation, the power of infinite transformations; it is 
supposed to consciously prevent itself from returning to any of its old 
forms; it is supposed to possess not only the intention but the means of 
every one of its movements at every moment so as to escape goals, final 
states, repetitions--and whatever else may follow from such an 
unforgivably insane way of thinking and desiring. It is still the old 
religious way of thinking and desiring, a kind of longing to believe 
that in some way the world is after all like the old beloved, infinite, 
boundlessly creative God--that in some way "the old God still lives"-- 
that longing of Spinoza which was expressed in the words "deus sive 
natura" [God or nature.] (he even felt "natura sive deus") . 

What, then, is the law and belief with which the decisive change, the 
recently attained preponderance of the scientific spirit over the 
religious, God-inventing spirit, is most clearly formulated? Is it not: 
the world, as force, may not be thought of as unlimited, for it cannot 
be so thought of; we forbid ourselves the concept of an infinite force 
as incompatible with the concept "force." Thus--the world also lacks the 
capacity for eternal novelty. 

1063 (1887-1888) 

The law of the conservation of energy demands eternal recurrence. 

1064 (1885) 

That a state of eguilibrium is never reached proves that it is not 
possible. But in an indefinite space it would have to have been reached. 
Likewise in a spherical space. The shape of space must be the cause of 
eternal movement, and ultimately of all "imperfection." 

That "force" and "rest," "remaining the same," contradict one another. 

The measure of force (as magnitude) as fixed, but its essence in flux. 
[The MS continues: "in tension, compelling."] 

"Timelessness " to be rejected. At any precise moment of a force, the 
absolute conditionality of a new distribution of all its forces is 
given: it cannot stand still. "Change" belongs to the essence, therefore 
also temporality: with this, however, the necessity of change has only 
been posited once more conceptually. 

1065 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) 

A certain emperor always bore in mind the transitoriness of all things 
so as not to take them too seriously and to live at peace among them. To 
me, on the contrary, everything seems far too valuable to be so 
fleeting: I seek an eternity for everything: ought one to pour the most 
precious salves and wines into the sea?-- My consolation is that 
everything that has been is eternal: the sea will cast it up again. 

1066 (March-June 1888) 

The new world-conception.-- The world exists; it is not something that 
becomes, not something that passes away. Or rather: it becomes, it 
passes away, but it has never begun to become and never ceased from 
passing away--it maintains itself in both.-- It lives on itself: its 
excrements are its food. 

We need not worry for a moment about the hypothesis of a created world. 
The concept "create" is today completely indefinable [This word is 
illegible.], unrealizable; merely a word, a rudimentary survival from 
the ages of superstition; one can explain nothing with a mere word. The 
last attempt to conceive a world that had a beginning has lately been 
made several times with the aid of logical procedures--generally, as one 
may divine, with an ulterior theological motive. 

Lately one has sought several times to find a contradiction in the 
concept "temporal infinity of the world in the past" (regressus in 
infinitum) : one has even found it, although at the cost of confusing the 
head with the tail. Nothing can prevent me from reckoning backward from 
this moment and saying "I shall never reach the end"; just as I can 
reckon forward from the same moment into the infinite. Only if I made 
the mistake--I shall guard against it--of eguating this correct concept 
of a regressus in infinitum with an utterly unrealizable concept of a 
finite progressus up to this present, only if I suppose that the 
direction (forward or backward) is logically a matter of indifference, 
would I take the head--this moment — for the tail: I shall leave that to 
you, my dear Herr Diihring!-- 

I have come across this idea in earlier thinkers: every time it was 
determined by other ulterior considerations (--mostly theological, in 
favor of the creator spiritus) . If the world could in any way become 
rigid, dry, dead, nothing, or if it could reach a state of eguilibrium, 
or if it had any kind of goal that involved duration, immutability, the 
once-and-f or-all (in short, speaking metaphysically: if becoming could 
resolve itself into being or into nothingness), then this state must 
have been reached: from which it follows-- 

This is the sole certainty we have in our hands to serve as a corrective 
to a great host of world hypotheses possible in themselves. If, e. g., 
the mechanistic theory cannot avoid the conseguence, drawn for it by 
William Thomson [First Baron Kelvin (1824-1907), British physicist and 
mathematician who introduced the Kelvin or Absolute Scale of 

temperature.], of leading to a final state, then the mechanistic theory 
stands refuted. 

If the world may be thought of as a certain definite guantity of force 
and as a certain definite number of centers of force--and every other 
representation remains indefinite and therefore useless--it follows 
that, in the great dice game of existence, it must pass through a 
calculable number of combinations. In infinite time, every possible 
combination would at some time or another be realized; more: it would be 
realized an infinite number of times. And since between every 
combination and its next recurrence all other possible combinations 
would have to take place, and each of these combinations conditions the 
entire seguence of combinations in the same series, a circular movement 
of absolutely identical series is thus demonstrated: the world as a 
circular movement that has already repeated itself infinitely often and 
plays its game in infinitum. 

This conception is not simply a mechanistic conception; for if it were 
that, it would not condition an infinite recurrence of identical cases, 
but a final state. Because the world has not reached this, mechanistic 
theory must be considered an imperfect and merely provisional 
hypothesis . 

1067 (1885) 

And do you know what "the world" is to me? Shall I show it to you in my 
mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; 
a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, 
that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of 
unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise 
without increase or income; enclosed by "nothingness" as by a boundary; 
not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but 
set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a sphere that might 
be "empty" here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of 
forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing 
here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and 
rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with 
tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; 
out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, out of the 
stillest, most rigid, coldest forms toward the hottest, most turbulent, 
most self -contradictory, and then again returning home to the simple out 
of this abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of 
concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and 
its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a 
becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: this, my 
Dionysian world of the eternally self -creating, the eternally self- 
destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptuous delight, my 
"beyond good and evil," without goal, unless the joy of the circle is 
itself a goal; without will, unless a ring feels good will toward 
itself--do you want a name for this world? A solution for all its 
riddles? A light for you, too, you best-concealed, strongest, most 
intrepid, most midnightly men?-- This world is the will to power— and 
nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power— and 
nothing besides! 

The End